The parents' guide to avoiding James Franco

In the wake of James Franco's ill-fated attempt to hook up with a 17-year-old, we honor a request he made on Twitter to help parents of teens

Spring Breakers

Spring Breakers

On Wednesday, James Franco was caught attempting to organize a dicey encounter with a 17-year-old Scottish tourist. In the wake of being caught, Franco issued a tweet with one suggestion: "I hope parents keep their teens away from me."

We at Time Out New York would like to honor his request, so we've organized this quick and handy guide to keeping your teens out of the clutches of the boyishly handsome, sleepy-eyed 35-year-old lothario. The first and simplest step to preserving your young ones' integrity is to remember the three A's: actor, author, artist.

A is for actor. Franco is an actor, but you knew that! You've seen him on the silver screen—or maybe, like budding flower Lucy Clode and her family, on Broadway in his new show, Of Mice and Men. So, high on the list of places to avoid: theaters and screening rooms. Often, if an actor like Franco is not onstage disrupting your teens' equilibrium with lots of challenging new feelings about the world around them, he is in the audience seething with rage that he is not onstage (certain that he could do better than that "hack") or not working at all. Get your culture at the symphony!

A is for author. Franco is an author, perhaps you were unaware! Despite recent, misleading book covers, he didn't write As I Lay Dying (that was William Faulkner), but he got an MFA from Columbia, is a Ph.D. student at Yale, and has written a collection of short stories and a novel. So steer clear of coffeehouses and bookshops: While authors like Franco pretend to browse a shop (before wandering over to touch and surreptitiously sign copies of their own books), they've got plenty of time to bump into your blossoming progeny. From there, it's a snap to offhandedly convince these technophiles to star in a Vine that Franco hopes to re-create later without clothes.

A is for artist. Franco is an artist and you didn't know. It's true! Unlike your actor and writer friends who just call themselves "artists," Franco paints and has had gallery shows. Stay away from gallery shows. Imagine your trusting tenderfoot wandering the halls, lost in the libertine crowd; someone puts a cup of cheap Chardonnay in her hand and there's Franco. Scary, we know.

Also remember:

Just because he may play a gay man or a stereotype of a gay man, don't let that fool you. Remember, he's an actor; this is what he does. Along with painting and writing novels. And snatching your child's innocence.

The Franco Paradox: The very qualities that make Franco dangerous to your teen—that crooked grin and his presumed naughtiness—make him also irresistible to you. The very qualities that make you wise enough to read this list—your age and experience—make you useless to Franco. So no matter how desperate you feel, don't go trolling the theaters, shops and galleries for your own selfish purposes. It's useless. We've tried.

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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