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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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you people are missing the boat again with your hate of celebrities, as usual. Franco doesnt need these classes, he has already made it. The university loves these famous actors coming to their school for recruitment purposes. Hell they would probably pay them to come. Im not saying he is the greatest actor to ever live, but giving him a D for missing classes is like giving Tom Brady the quarterback a D in gym if he were to go back to high school. Its just stupid.

1038 days ago

Throwback kid    

Franco should do what most celebrities do, just lie and say you went to college, quite a few like Pari******on, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Jessica Simpson, Angelina Jolie are actually high school drop outs. If you miss 12 of 14 classs you really don't care about school in the first place

1038 days ago


Oh for F-sake!
Had I missed 98% of my classes, I would have been given an F. And judging by Franco's posture in the picture, he probably deserved it.

1038 days ago


Why would they fire him - his actions appear justified. Did he do something else he's not telling us? That doesn't add up.

1038 days ago

Moose Breath    

That picture is funny. The guy got fired because he was a bore. JF is an exceptional student.

1038 days ago

_][ Character_Assassin ][_    

His mouth was wide open for spit balls.

1038 days ago

Celebrities Suck    

He deserved an F he's lucky he got a D for douche bag..

1038 days ago


So did Franco complain about the results?...How did the people find out his result?

1038 days ago

Celebrities Suck    

in school you don't get cue cards you have to study no short cuts just like any other.

1038 days ago


One scenario: Mr Santana was fired because he was told prior to the class to pass Mr Franco but his professionalism and conscience prevented that and gave him a break with a "D" instead of "F". Fired for failure to follow an administration directive.

1038 days ago


The picture is NOT from a class. It is from a late-evening seminar (ten p.m.) that Franco optionally attended for his own enjoyment. Franco is interviewed about the D some time ago and acknowledges that he missed a lot of classes. He held no animosity toward the instructor. Sheesh.

1038 days ago


My money is on the professor's version of the story. Doesn't surprise me in the least that the school was kissing Franco's backside because of his "celeb" status. What an insult that is to all the students who really EARNED their grades (and may well be more talented than Franco!)

1038 days ago


i see most people are quick to blast a celeb..when in reality there are many people like this teacher who when learning that they have a celeb in their class.make it apoint to be hard on them just to show that he wont put up with what james did just because he was a celeb.i can hear the teacher now."im the teacher you are the may have been in blockbuster movies but i am still the teacher i know more about acting than you"

1038 days ago


I actually believe he was let go due to the grade he gave James Franco and not for being hispanic. NYU has a very diverse campus and faculty. James Franco probably raised hell and threatened to drop out over the D he got and since NYU also used James Franco's enrollment for their own publicity, we gotta ask...

1038 days ago


He was deserving of that grade. I would have given him an F-

1038 days ago
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