The #1 Issue with James Franco’s Scandal

The Internet is abuzz with news of James Franco’s suspect Instagram and text conversations with a 17-year-old fangirl. Potential creep factor aside, I had two immediate reactions:

1. Apparently it isn’t that hard to successfully hit on James Franco (even though I tried, to no avail, one time as an eager freshman in the Columbia library).

2. We are grappling with a greater societal issue that news outlets have failed to recognize in analyzing their conversation: that the # sign has lost all numerical significance to our youth.

Let’s take a look, shall we?


Let’s take a closer look.


It’s happened. The miniature tic-tac-toe board, formerly known as a symbol for the word “number” and alternately as the pound key on your touch phone that granted you access to voicemail, is now exclusively recognized as a HASHTAG.

Let that sink in.

To this girl’s credit, “What’s your HASHTAG?” is a confusing question. Would I say, #tooyoung4U?#singleandready2mingle? #manrepeller? I’m not sure.

But if someone asked “What’s your #?,” I would know he or she meant NUMBER. Phone number. Digits.

What James Franco does in private isn’t really our business, but it’s possible that this whole exchange could be a ploy to draw attention to greater issues plaguing our youth.

AKA, the artist formerly known as #.

[James Franco Apparently Tried to Hook Up with a Teenage on Instagram via Gawker]

  • first of all gross, so gross and second I cannot stop LOLing. if this is true I will lose hope for our future generations.

    • Anna

      Maybe she was confused because she didn’t know what he meant by number? Like her phone number or the number of sexual partners she has had, and she deflected to figure out what he meant. That is how I read the convo.

  • LEXI


  • Carey Cassidy

    She should totally like ask him to prom!!!!!!

  • For real! I read in my head “what do you mean, number?” several times not getting it at first. XD Thanks Charlotte

    • Kurohana

      I was right there with you, i was scratching my head until Charlotte pointed out that it meant hashtag

  • thebloginista


  • Amelia Diamond

    Also re the “scandal,” I feel like it’s a publicity stunt for Palo Alto:

  • Maureen Krezel French

    im sure he wanted to know what her hashtag was. he’s not that old. but he is witty.

  • Karyschka Naidoo

    I never thought of it that way… James Franco is creepy, but efff.. this is funny! All hope is lost for future generations.

  • fortheloveoftriangles

    In the girl’s defence, the # as a sign for number is not that commonly used outside the US … She’s from Scotland, and as a fellow European, I see why she was baffled by his ‘what’s your #?”!

  • Sammy981

    The girl in question is Scottish, in the UK it’s rare for # to be used to mean number.

  • Sioned

    No, no.. in Britain it still stands for number- I’m not thaaat much older than her (23) and that was the second thing that made me cringe about this whole alleged conversation.. after the fact that she is you know, still a child.

  • oievmpoenivonib

    Gross? Because he’s 35? Ancient! As if the bl+c4z calling him gross in the comments wouldn’t throw themselves at him for real. And really, get over yourselves, J. F. can get pretty much any woman he wants (that is, probably not you, ug face). What’s gross, that he’s not a f@&?

    • He’s trying to have sex with an immature person and he’s old enough to know better. It seems like he doesn’t see the value in having a sexual relationship with a fully-realized person on equal footing with him.
      That makes it an exploitative sex act. Which is gross.

  • Frida

    It’s for his new film, d’oh….

  • That’s exactly what I thought when I read this! I was reading it as, “what do you mean, number?” It took me a while to realize that she thought he meant hashtag.

  • Jessica Rose

    One of his brothers is dating a woman old enough to be his mother…now James wants someone young enough to be his daughter!!

    • Cristina

      just saying, if she was young enough to be his daughter he would have had her at 18… so no, not really young enough.

      • Jessica Rose

        Granted he would have been a young dad…but since it’s legal to have sex at 16….then it’s very possible….just saying Cristina……have you heard of teenage pregnancies?

  • Publicity stunt or not, I’d love to be creepily hit on by James Franco.

  • Oh, Franco…you creepy-ass bastard.

    I hope that once he figured out that # means something totally different to her, he stopped texting and had a good, long think about the whole situation. 😉

  • Camilla Ackley

    Blimey, I’m 17 and even I understood what he meant by #

    Coming from someone the same age, I’d be more creeped out than flattered by this whole scenario.


  • Sunshine and Pearls

    this conversation gave me the ickies and the giggles……poor little girl

  • Lauren

    it’s too much of a coincidence in timing to not be a publicity stunt right? or are they now pushing forward the movie to cover up the creep factor…

  • Brian

    THE PROBLEM is not the hashtag/number debate. It’s the fact that an older man is “excused” from creepily trying to have sexual relations with an underage girl. It’s not funny it’s not cute it’s actually disgusting and because he is an attractive man, he’ll get away with this behavior.

    • Brianisatwatwhodoesn’tgetlaid

      smh… she’s not underage… idiot.

    • Cristina

      no… he asked and when she rejected him he said bye. your allowed to ask what you want. and shes the one who led him long when all she wanted was a picture of him and her name, and my guess is she wanted it to share it and make him look bad.

  • Honestly? I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. I mean, we constantly fantasize about hot actors all the time, and suddenly when they hit (we wish, anyway) on us we’re supposed to think, “ew” just because they’re older? Besides, it’s not like she’s a child. Let’s not take away credit from her and desexualize her completely.

  • Alex

    This isn’t the youngest girl this guy creeps on. He has been creeping in a 15 yr old from nj.

  • Great piece, Charlotte. Even if she missed the mark on the # thing, I have to give her props for luring him in like that. Wouldn’t mind, wouldn’t mind.

  • Tina

    Brilliant! LOL. Thank you Man Repeller.

  • Niky

    while I understand your shock, the girl is British (specifically Scottish, so British for now…) we’ve never used that sign for the word number here.

    Situation averted.

  • Karine

    The other day in my stats class my professor referred to pound signs in a line of programming code as hashtags, without the slightest hesitation :(.

  • EB

    So one day I was putting away groceries and my daughter looked at a package that said 0mg sodium and she asked, Mom, what is Oh My G-d sodium?”

  • Lou lou

    you are hilarious – great post 🙂

  • Erika

    Right??! That was my immediate reaction as well. Like, Gurrrlllll give him your NUMBA! Ugh, sometimes it kills me that all of James Franco’s hotness is being wasted.

  • This is brilliant.
    And I’m so creeped out by James Franco now! SMH…

  • Sydney Style Opportunist

    It will generate publicity for his new film, similarities in the plot… he is creepin’

  • mystery

    To be fair, I kind of assumed that she was confused as to whether he meant room number (since they’d been talking about which hotel she was staying at) or phone number. I’m close to this girl’s supposed age and I would say that a majority of teenagers DON’T recognize the # symbol exclusively as a hashtag. I personally feel that it’s unfair to cite her age as a reason for confusion. Most teenagers that I know, including myself, are able to discern that the symbol means more than “hashtag”.

    Also, I think that the creep factor ranks a lot higher than any hashtag here. Plus the abuse of power that comes from an actor (who isn’t really a theatre actor but whatever) using stagedoor to pick up underage girls. I’m not even a huge fan of James Franco but I really hope that this is a publicity stunt. If it is, it’s in pretty bad taste, though.

  • NinjaCate

    My first reaction to this “greater societal problem” was to roll my eyes. My second reaction was to laugh hysterically. We knew it was coming. The apocalypse has arrived!

  • Lisa Osborne

    Strange how this was “leaked” on the day his movie comes out where he is a teacher an dates a student. I smell a publicity stunt in the making. .

  • Caroline

    haha lol this is James Franco! This can only be a publicity stunt for his new film!! Who is dumb enough to do this for real while you know the whole world can read it too?! Def not James 😉 he’s better than that!

  • E

    Age of sexual consent in NYC is 17, so whatever you think this is not illegal.

  • Margie Vanz

    Maybe she wanted to clarify if he was asking for her phone number or room number, since his previous text was about where she’s staying. I hope she’s not that hashtag crazed.

  • Neville

    I got head from a 13 year old girl I got her high on meth first. I also had a relationship with a 16 year old girl for a year and got her completely addicted to meth during that time as I was a dealer. I don’t know if she’s alive or dead now and couldn’t give a fûck either way.

  • Neville

    After 19 the cûnt is stale

  • Cristina Feather

    I know this will creep you out but in my country older people go out with minors all the time :-):-):-):-):-) it’s true, we find it weird too if it’s about someone who’s younger than 17 with somebody who’s older than 30…. but what I find truly weird is how pushy he was. The thing with the # I didn’t get it either… what number? What hashtag? Phone number? Sex partners? What does he mean?

  • km

    It looks like the arrogant blogger is the ignorant one, as # is not often used for phone number outside of the US.

  • fuck you

    are you kidding me?? hes being a pedophile and your biggest issue with this disgusting behavior is that a teenage girl isnt immediately familiar with an outdated word?? what the hell is wrong with you?? this is nauseating jesus christ what the hell

  • amaya

    james franco is sexy i would go for that people..