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James Franco's Unsettling Brad Renfro Tribute Appears On New Billboard

| Filed under: Icky Icky PooWacky, Tacky & TrueJames Franco

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As we've said before, there MUST be other ways James could have paid tribute to the late actor!

Last month, we learned that James Franco carved deceased actor Brad Renfro's name into his arm as part of his upcoming art installation/exhibit in honor of James Dean at the Venice Biennale, and we found it to be a bit troubling.

Now, we're getting our first glimpse (above) of James' tribute to Renfro, and we're still pret-ty uneasy about it.

We suppose the billboard is kind of cool, and we think it's very sweet that James is paying tribute to his Deuce's Wild co-star, but that image of BRAD being carved into James' arm make us cringe!

What do U think of James Franco's unorthodox tribute to Brad Renfro?

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48 comments to “James Franco's Unsettling Brad Renfro Tribute Appears On New Billboard”



  1. 1

    Why does it make you cringe? I'm not getting why it's making you uncomfortable…it's an artistic tribute, that's all.



  2. 2

    i dont find anything wrong with it, to each their own, i know "scarification" is common now a days its a type of body modification where people get designs/names etc.. cut into thier skin.. kinda like getting a tattoo but without the ink



  3. 3

    I just watched "The Informers". What a strange and somewhat awful movie. I didn't even recognize Brad Renfro in the movie. James Franco must have really loved him some Brad Renfro… ;)



  4. 4

    AWK! this seems more like a mockery than anything, with his lame, overdramatic, forced poses, combined with the over the top delivery of a tacky billboard, not to mention the fact this is so not relevant anymore, the guy died awhile ago. his timing is the icing on top a really, really awkward cake. a huge cake that people will drive by, might i add.



  5. 5

    i honestly think hes using his death for publicity which is totally evil. this guy is a pathetic weirdo.



  6. 6

    i think it's beautiful that he wants to honor brad's memory, i don't think it should make anyone uncomfortable. it's the same as getting a tattoo…



  7. 7

    Re: prickly – if you seriously think its ok to carve someones name or anything for that mater into your arm with a switchblade…..i have serious concerns for your mental health. Re: krrrystal – no, its not, that is done professionally, in a safe, clean environment. dont compare him to someone who gets a tattoo, as someone with ink, i take offense to that. i would never take a blade and cut myself, because that would make me a cutter, and people are institutionalized for that.



  8. 8

    Brad Renfro was a loser junkie. WHy exactly is he being honored? Pushing the "rebel" label a bit far.



  9. 9

    I'm so sick & tired of hearing about Franco. He ruined the Oscars. He's a patheticly boring attention whore & a closetcase. I don't give a shit what he does. At this point, I just wish he'd OD on something & go away. God is killing all the wrong people.



  10. 10

    This closet case should just come out already.



  11. 11

    I can't tell what that last picture is suppose to be (bottom right hand corner). It looks like a smashed in face to me.



  12. 12

    to be honest, i feel the creepy vibe from him. he's always looking tired, too skinny… something in there is not right… he might be another one to die young too… his brother, on the other hand AAAAAAVE MARIA!!! delish! they're both delish…



  13. 13

    Re: patcee – im covered in tattoos and if that offends you, im sorry to say you are an idiot. its still the same practice weather its done in a shop or at someones home. clearly you dont know shit.



  14. 14

    Re: krrrystal – Clearly you don't know shit being covered by tattoes, it's escapist and deranged. Live in your real skin and stop hiding. The whole James Franco doing a tribute to Brad Renfro is ridiculous already……..Jesus, when are we gonna rally toward real and good actors……none anymore, at all. It's all bullshit and totally contrived.



  15. 15

    I love james but people who d o weird things like carving etc piss me off stop trying to be edgy etc it's boring



  16. 16

    oh, I don't know….I can think of a lot crappier reasons to get a tattoo. and more shallow ones, too. I think it's nice that he wanted to remember a friend in a "forever" kind of way. you know, nothing says "I love you" like carving indelible ink into your skin.



  17. 17

    he can do what he wants. fuck off with your "cringing".



  18. 18

    Re: krrrystal – Read Patcee's posts again dumbass, he/she never said tattoos were bad at all, he/she even said they had themselves. Stop going off on people when you can't even read properl.



  19. 19

    As a friend of Brad's, I personally think it's an amazing tribute. I choose to ignore all of the ignorant comments most of you have said, though, because you clearly haven't lost a loved one, and if so, I'm certain you've never had to deal with hearing people such as yourselves badmouth someone you loved publicly. I wish you did. This was an intense project for James, and he cared about Brad so much…it's good to know he's not forgotten. The rest of you opinionated fools with anger issues are kind of sad, and I can confirm that if Brad was reading this, he would say "fuck all ya'll". So i'm saying it for him.



  20. 20

    That's not ART that's Photoshop. Big difference. He's not even a very good actor, although he seems to get good roles. There is something wrong about the whole idea of him chanelling anything into that thick skull of his. Next stop REHAB! Yeah, we all just loved Brad Renfro! Who?



  21. 21

    Re: krrrystal – ha im covered with ink too. and if you think that its the same to have a profession artist with a license in a sanitary, licensed shop with clean needles and ink tat you, using needles and other safe items is the same as having someone use a switchblade thats been who knows where…..you are seriously deranged and possible may have spent a considerably long time in prison where tattooing is done in a unsafe manner. you are laughable to say the two are the same and im sure your tattoo artists would be offended to hear the comparison. ok, i "dont know shit," if shit means im not insane with no concept of conventional social norms, sanitation, or mental illness. you are seriously disturbed.



  22. 22

    Re: biana v – thank you. its so offensive to the people who are truly mentally sick and have a real issue with cutting. he is gloryifying a mental illness.



  23. 23

    Could they have been lovers at some point???



  24. 24

    can anyone confirm if james franco is gay or straight?



  25. 25

    Re: patcee – carving someones name into your arm is just like getting a tattoo so there is nothing wrong with it. get over yourself. this is artistic and passionate . its filled with feeling and emotion. it deff reflects brad renfro and james dean %100.



  26. 26

    Re: T.E.A.M.J.O.L.I.E – having a professional do it in a controlled, clean environment, absolutely. but the act of carving anything into your own body with a knife or any sharp object, no matter what the motivation behind it is… is defined as self mutilation and its not healthy, mentally or physically. honestly, if you saw someone carving something into their arm with a knife, you would react the same as if you walked into a tattoo parlor? the desired outcome may be the same, but the two are in no way similar.



  27. 27

    Re: journaliste – Do you know how horrible and sick you sound?
    Your wishing death on someone you dont even know. And you said hes an attention whore?
    What hes only allowed to act? Hes not allowed to do ANYTHING else. Nope, hes an actor, so hes only allowed to act!
    Im sorry but people usually have more than one interest and why is it a bad thing to go to school, write a book, etc? It never hurt anyone.

    And about this whole brad renfro thing- I think its a nice artistic tribute to a friend.
    yes a friend because james franco has said in intereviews that hes not gay multiple times. he likes portraying gay people in different era because they had to hide there feelings.
    " Everyone thinks I’m a stoner, and some people think I’m gay because I’ve played these gay roles. That’s what people think, but it’s not true. I don’t smoke pot. I’m not gay."- James Franco



  28. 28

    Re: patcee – people give themselves tattoos everyday. its no diff. is he slashing his wrists .?? no. it is not considered self mutilation. ask any therapist and they will tell you the same. i used to think like you after my friend gave herself a tattoo with a knife and indian ink. so i went to a therapist and she told me that giving yourself tattoos and carving things into yourself for beautification purposes(like carving someones name into your arm) is not considered self mutilation. as they are doing it for aesthetic purposes instead of with an intent to harm themselves. it can be unclean but if you look at this realistically he probably made sure he had steralised the blade and washed his hands. he is a celebrity who has a tendancy to be a clean freak. so yes if he had the intent to hurt himself i would be worried but this is clearly for aesthetic purposes. for art.



  29. 29

    You're just pissed because if you died tomorrow nobody would do anything remotely close to this for you Perez. There would be 1 day of online news articles announcing your passing and then we would all move on to a different website. It may sound cruel but it's the truth and you all know it.



  30. 30

    Re: patcee – I'm tatted too and I definitely agree with you. How can you other people think this is okay?! It's definitely NOT the same as getting a professional tattoo or scarification. Anyways, I get a feeling like they were lovers or something. Brad was cool but James is a loser.



  31. 31

    Hey, Fatass, I see you haven't gotten that whole multiple personality thing tended to yet. You and your dumb ass self are a single (as in ONE) person.

    Attend a journalism class and learn how to write, fucktard.



  32. 32

    The way you dress and your personality make many of us in the gay community cringe. You are an embarrassment, Mario. Go away.



  33. 33

    Chris Burden wannabe



  34. 34

    James Franco is just a little cocksucker with too high an opinion of himself.



  35. 35

    Someone had to do something! After the Academy Awards diss te year he died, people seem to have forgotten Brad Renfro. Glad someone has remembered!



  36. 36

    If that carving on his arm is real, and I HIGHLY emphasise the word, "IF", then it sounds to me as though James Franco is really heart broken that his former lover has passed on. Honestly. There isn't one straight male on this planet that would carve the name of another dude on his arm and be that public about it. Not one. Brad was not an icon. He barely qualified to be a "has-been". In fact he was very close to being a "never-was".

    Like I said, IF the arm carving is real, then James Franco is gay and Brad Renfro was a lover that he cared for deeply.



  37. 37

    Artistic tribute my ass. It's exploiting Renfro's death. For god's sake it's sponsored by Gucci! Franco represents Gucci. What that dopey billboard is saying isn't a tribute to Renfro-it's a tribute to Franco's showy 'mourning' of Renfro. If you can call a huge billboard hawking Gucci 'mourning'. I wonder what Renfro's family thinks of this? Don't forget Franco and Co. are also selling a stupid box containing a cheap little mirror with a pic of Brad and Franco's writing in red lipstick, 'Forever Brad'…for, get this, $75 bucks a pop. Disgusting.



  38. 38

    Oh, and so everyone understands, this carving isn't something did at the time of Brad's death-that is just being revealed now. Franco did the carving as part of an art 'stunt'. Brad's been dead for a long time, and Franco is just now making a statement? THe whole thing is disgusting. Did I mention that they're selling this crap for cash money? In addition to the box, they are selling 100 knives with the words, "Brad Renfro forever' on them. Those are for sale separately. I really wish I were making this crap up.



  39. 39

    i do agree its ridiculous when i was 19 i had a bf who was 17 yused to cut words into himself with a razor blade ick
    so i find this whole thing depressing and immature

    but on that note i would do franco in a heartbeat hes very sexy minus the cutting himself

  40. k-lee says – reply to this


    40

    Why is it unsettling? I don't get you. Sounds pretty awesome to me. What a special thing to do for a deceased friend.



  41. 41

    I've never liked James Franco. He comes off as rather snobby and arrogant. He's like the ultimate Hollywood version of a hifalutin asshole. I thought it was silly when he wanted to get his first PHD while being a fulltime actor, but when this jerkwad wanted to go and get his second when he probably hadn't even started classes for the first?! What a waste of tuition money! Don't get me wrong, an education is a great thing. But when you try to act, teach, be a societyman, AND pull two doctorates once, you either have the most unrealistic dreams ever or you're doing because it you think you're better than other people. I personally think that it's a little bit of both.



  42. 42

    But when it comes to this Brad Renfro (whoever the hell he is) character, I have to agree with the posts that say it's exploitation because it comes off as more of a merchandising deal than it does a form of rememberance. And what's that little jackass trying to do- make cutting look cool? Having that big picture on the right of the billboard with the knife going into his arm is pretty foul to me. As several of y'all have said, I have plenty of tattoos, as well, and there's nothing even mildly associatable about the two. But seriously, what if some little kid has seen a Franco flick, and walks by the billboard and sees this loser promoting multilation?? I know it's an off-chance, but still. And don't tell me that's not what he's doing, because CLEARLY he is. That "artwork" totally overshadows everything else.



  43. 43

    I love James Franco and I love love love Brad Renfro. I think it's really sweet what he did, it's just as though he got a tattoo. "Krrrystal" has got it right on the dot.



  44. 44

    I love James Franco and I love love love Brad Renfro. I think it's uber sweet what he did. It's just as though he got a tattoo. "Krrrystal" has got it right on the nose.



  45. 45

    Re: LisaRose – umm close up of someone carving the name brad into his arm. consider bifocals or a better monitor?



  46. 46

    Re: biana v – you're one to talk when you can't even type properly lol



  47. 47

    Re: delusionalJess – thank you! people are fucking morons. i was just going to reply that its basically the same thing as getting a tattoo dedicated to someone, 'ive never gotten a tattoo or piercing done outside of a shop, but to each their own, there's too many cry babies on this site! yeeesh!



  48. 48

    No worse than a tattoo.