NYU Professor Alleges He Was Fired for Giving James Franco a D
James Franco might be the world’s most famous university student, perpetually enrolled in some program or another. Usually it’s the kids who are adamant about avoiding the real world and jobs and responsibilities who manage to stay in school forever, but Franco has balanced his heavy academic load with a substantial film career in the last few years. But do we think Franco is really so brilliant that he can make straight As while shooting several movies? It looks like his class attendance suffered, and one of his professors is now alleging that he was fired for giving Franco a D.
NYU professor José Angel Santana gave Franco the low grade in his "Directing the Actor II" class for missing 12 out of 14 classes in the semester. He claims that Franco then publicly humiliated him, and the grade ultimately cost him his job. Santana is now suing the university, and he tells the New York Post that the university has been pandering to the A-list actor to gain publicity and funds.
After his student gig, Franco, 33, wound up teaching an NYU course this past fall on adapting poetry into short films.
Santana suggested that the good grades Franco received were payback to the actor for hiring one of his other professors, Jay Anania.
Franco hired Anania to write and direct the film “William Vincent,” which starred Franco, the suit states. The film was featured at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.
“In my opinion, they’ve turned the NYU graduate film degree into swag for James Franco’s purposes, a possession, something you can buy,” Santana said.
Franco has not responded to the allegations, although NYU spokesman John Beckman gave E! the following statement: "We have not seen the lawsuit yet, but the claims we are seeing in the media are ridiculous. Beyond that, it is regrettable and disappointing to see a faculty member—former or otherwise—discuss any student’s grade for the purpose of personal publicity." It’ll be interesting to see how Santana’s suit does after he has so very publicly broken FERPA regulations.