After Trotter's piece was published, the Times' Liam Stack wrote on Twitter that he believes his employer "just quietly outed James Franco."
.@Gawker says the NYT just quietly outed James Franco. I've read the story and have to agree with them. http://t.co/wXymt0EGSv
— Liam Stack (@liamstack) August 6, 2014
Another Times reporter, Michael Barbaro, also addressed the story on Twitter, writing that "[p]eople never seem to appreciate the art of subtly that defines some NYT coverage."
In the piece that was published late last week, Times reporter Jacob Bernstein wrote that Franco and fellow actor Scott Haze are "so close that describing them merely as friends would be a disservice." The two were acting students together in Los Angeles and recently worked together on Franco's film adaptation of "Child of God," a novel by Cormac McCarthy.
At the end of the piece, Bernstein described Franco's surprise when an "assistant pointed him and Mr. Haze to two waiting town cars" outside of a Manhattan restaurant.
“We live in the same place,” Franco was quoted as saying.
Franco later took to Instagram to mock Gawker for "always getting the cutting edge, homophobic scoop!!!" He also used the post to promote "Child of God," the film he directed and in which Haze stars.
Neither a Times spokesperson nor Bernstein responded to TPM's requests for comment.