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Vanity Fair erased James Franco from its Hollywood issue — and may have given Reese and Oprah extra limbs

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

The Vanity Fair Hollywood issue is always a big deal in the entertainment world, but this year it was a big deal for the wrong reasons.

On Thursday, the magazine blasted out the cover, featuring 12 A-listers like Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks, Gal Gadot, and Robert De Niro, as well as the mag’s outgoing editor, Graydon Carter, snapped by famed photograph Annie Leibovitz. The image — which was really several different photos put together through digital wizardry — got the internet talking right away, and not just because it’s beautiful, glamorous, and probably cost a small fortune. It all started with Reese’s leg and Oprah’s hand  — and escalated to James Franco’s erasure.

This is the 2018 Vanity Fair Hollywood issue. James Franco need not apply. (Photo: Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair via Twitter)

The World Wide Web of Wonders determined that there had been a dreaded “Photoshop fail.” The Big Little Lies actress and honcho, who was snuggled up to her A Wrinkle in Time co-star Oprah, appears to have three legs.


Perhaps making it into more of a thing than just Twitter chatter, Witherspoon commented on it herself.


Then Oprah’s third hand became a thing. (See, the one at her waist, one at her side, and … one around Reese?)


Oprah and Reese then discussed their third limbs.


Vanity Fair officially denied that the mag gave Witherspoon a third leg, saying instead that what clearly looks like a third leg is actually Witherspoon’s dress. But the Oprah error the magazine owned up to.


All that had barely died down when the Hollywood Reporter published a report stating that Franco, who was accused of sexual misconduct following his big Golden Globes win, was removed from the issue altogether.

“He was removed from the cover digitally, however, due to allegations of sexual misconduct that surfaced in the wake of his Golden Globe win for The Disaster Artist,” said the story. “Subjects for the Vanity Fair cover are often photographed separately in small groups and combined via digital imaging — Franco’s removal, then, did not require a reshoot. That said, it’s highly unusual for a star to be removed from an elaborate photo layout, especially so close to publication.”

While just a report initially, reps at the mag, who were really busy yesterday, confirmed Franco had been cut. “We made a decision not to include James Franco on the Hollywood cover once we learned of the misconduct allegations against him,” the spokesperson told THR.

Take a look behind-the-scenes at the VF Hollywood cover shoots … and see if you can spot them making any other mistakes:

Franco’s rep did not respond to THR‘s request for comment.

We can’t imagine this helps the actor’s alleged paranoia over the scandal. There have been reports that he has changed his phone number and is keeping a low profile.

Of course, on Globes night, The Breakfast Club actress Ally Sheedy got the ball rolling on accusations against Franco, posting a series of cryptic tweets about how Franco, whom she worked with in an off-Broadway production of The Long Shrift in 2014, shouldn’t have been “allowed in” with a “#metoo” hashtag. In the following days, five women claimed in a Los Angeles Times report that Franco behaved inappropriately with them.

Franco was later snubbed by the Oscars.

As for that glossy, pretty Vanity Fair Hollywood issue? Well, better luck next year.

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