Former NYU professor Jose Angel Santana is suing the school for wrongful termination after insinuating that he was let go because he gave the famed actor a “D” in his ‘Directing the Actor II’ class.
The professor accuses the school of “bending over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment” and insists that Franco was lucky to even get a passing grade after missing 12 out of the 14 classes.
Santana goes on to say that Franco missed just as many classes in other courses but still received favourable grades. And to reward his professors for such generous grades Franco hired one of them, Jay Anania, to write and direct his movie, “William Vincent.” and gave the head of the department, John Tintori, a cameo appearance in the film as well. This all according to the sourpuss former professor.
Long story short Santana was pissed Franco picked Jay over him to direct his movie. And why is he complaining about preferential treatment? Famous people, college athletes, students who sleep with their professors, and students who get high with their professors will always get better grades. These are the rules of the world. There is no sense in fighting the unwritten laws that govern us. When you do that you get fired.
PS. He probably didn’t like that Franco, a perceived 30 year-old entitled Hollywood burnout, who only came to class twice, was able to ace all his papers effortlessly, and had the fame, knowledge, and career that the Santana desperately strived for his entire life (but obviously failed miserably accomplishing).
Full news story courtesy of The Guardian: "A professor who was fired by New York University has filed a lawsuit claiming he was dismissed for giving celebrity student James Franco a D grade for poor attendance.
Dr José Angel Santana, who taught as an assistant arts professor on the actor's graduate film course, says that Franco – who supplements his acting career with stints as a novelist, installation artist, film director, soap star and part-time lecturer at NYU – attended just two of his 14 lectures on a course called Directing the Actor II. Santana alleges that the university has given the star preferential treatment because of his celebrity status. "The school has bent over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment, that's for sure," he told the New York Post. "The university has done everything in its power to curry favour with James Franco."
Santana also claims that Franco received good grades from his former colleagues despite similar levels of absence from their lectures. He says that this was in return for the publicity the actor's enrolment has brought the school and because Franco has collaborated with faculty members on independent film projects. William Vincent, a drama starring Franco that was released in 2010, was directed by NYU professor Jay Anania. The film featured a walk-on part for John Tintori, the graduate film department chairman.
The NYU, who have yet to see the lawsuit, have called Santana's claims "ridiculous". "It is regrettable and disappointing to see a faculty member – former or otherwise – discuss any student's grade for the purpose of personal publicity," said NYU spokesman John Beckman via a statement released to the Hollywood Reporter.
Franco himself hasn't commented, but it's likely that he doesn't appreciate the extra drama thrown up by Santana's claims, nor the subsequent reports in the media. "Going to school is not a performance," he told the Guardian in February. "I'm not asking critics to comment on it. It's like they're equating it to reviewing Howl, or something … What's he trying to show us? I'm not trying to show you anything. I'm trying to go to school."
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