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NYU Professor

I Got Fired for

Giving James Franco a 'D'

12/19/2011 9:37 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

A former NYU professor claims he got the chop because he dared give James Franco a "D" -- this according to a new lawsuit.

José Angel Santana -- who taught Franco in his "Directing the Actor" class -- is now suing the University for his job back, claiming he was wrongfully terminated ... because he's an Hispanic man with the audacity to give Franco a low grade.

According to the lawsuit, Santana dropped the D on Franco for missing 12 of the 14 classes in the MFA course. No shocker, considering the pic TMZ posted back in 2009 ... showing Franco passed out at one of his Columbia classes.

1219_james_franco_EXWM_02When people found out that Santana gave Franco a D, Santana claims he suffered all sorts of public humiliation -- at the hands of James Franco ... and the University itself, which ultimately fired him ... something he claims would never have happened to a white professor.

According to Santana, other teachers played favorites with Franco, including fellow professor Jay Anania ... who Franco hired to write and direct the film "Shadows & Lies." 

Santana groused, "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 told the Post, “The university has done everything in its power to curry favor with James Franco.”

10:28 AM PT: NYU claims it hasn't seen the papers but calls what has been reported about the lawsuit "ridiculous" -- adding, "It is regrettable and disappointing to see a faculty member -- former or otherwise -- discuss any student's grade for the purpose of his or her personal publicity."


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Jim in Cali    

Franco always sounded like a douche. Not surprised by his unprofessional behavior in class.

1038 days ago

Delaware D    

Franco missed 12 of the 14 classes? He deserved a "F", not a "D"!!

1038 days ago


I would be most appreciative if TMZ would upload a copy of the complaint, so I can see why EXACTLY this man believes that the grade he gave to Franco was the catalyst for his firing. I meam, where there absolutely no problems before?

1038 days ago


I absolutely believe him!

1038 days ago


The pic of James nodding is funny as it reminds me of his character when he was on the show "Freaks and Geeks". lol

1038 days ago

melissa b    

I sure hope it's not true. You don't get through college bc of WHO you are, you get through bc you show up to class and do the work!

1038 days ago


That's why Franco has two or three degrees... "earning" good grades just because you are "famous" doesn't make you smart...

1038 days ago


Funny...this is what I looked like when he hosted The Oscars last year...ZZZzzz...

1038 days ago

Roger Williams    

If this is indeed the real reason, it is another example of favoritism extended to the "privileged". I'm sure I would not even get a "D" if my attendance was like that. I'd like to see an example of Franco's classwork. Can he even write?

1038 days ago


I don't like James Franco, he can't act and he has ugly yellow teeth...

1038 days ago


Friend of mine worked on 127 hours and said that he was a bit of a douche.

Him cramming all this education in strikes me as rather pretentious...he's like he wants to have as much prestige as he can get.

1038 days ago


Oh well, that's the professors fault what does he expect it's a bad economy and college classes aren't cheap he should have just given him a good grade and let it go

1038 days ago


Good for this teacher for standing up and giving the grade that is deserved. If I was a student of that school I would back this teacher 100%. I'm glad I decided to go elsewhere.

1038 days ago


or maybe.this teacher figured i will be the one who gives james a bad grade.i dont know what happened.but there are some douche bag teachers out there as well.not to mention being an acting teacher he may wanted to be the one who failed james just for the heck of it.

1038 days ago


you didn't get fired because of giving a student a "D". You probably got fired because of complaints. If a professor gets a certain amount of complaints especially on his teaching abilities he will be fired.As a kid I missed the majority of my classes..passed all the tests and a teacher tried to get me expelled. What the teacher didn't know was I was in class at a university at the same time. He was fired. I am sure Mr. Franco didn't care about the D.

1038 days ago
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