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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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A D, that's funny I've only ever read articles of praise in the past of what Franco is accomplishing, pursuing multiple degrees in addition to the acting career.

Show me proof NYU not no other reason to fire him and I'll believe this claim.

986 days ago


no hispanic race

986 days ago


"something he claims would never have happened to a white professor."

You know what i was on your side till you mouthed this. Can't be that he is just a Hollywood brat and they got on you for that. Ya HAD to throw race into it. Go flip burgers somewhere.

986 days ago

Jordan K    

Ok, so, in what way does his race have to do anything with bad grades or getting fired?
Why does everybody always have to throw an accusation of racism into everything?

986 days ago


Affirmative action for rich white guys is alive and do you think George W. Bush got into Harvard Business School ?....How do you think Chelsea Clinton got into the TV business.....affluent white people buy themselves into this country's best schools, best jobs and highest political offices.....the little people have to "earn it"

986 days ago


"This will never happen to a white professor"...Oh please spare me the tears, blacks never have it better, stop being the victim it make you feel like a loser. Snap out of it and stop trashing your students reputations. Yes, maybe the teachers treated Franco different because they probably were star creazy, but I don't think you were fired because you gave Franco a D. The story is incomplete. Maybe you are a lousy teacher, maybe you smoked grass in the bathroom, maybe you voted for Obama...You know, those are terrible things that could get you fired in any decent place...Oh sorry, we are talking now to a Union control enviorement...And if they fired you being black, then you must suck. They rather fired a white man than a black one. Prejudice is rampant now in America, but whites are now the target. So So cry me a river. Holder will save, not to worry.

986 days ago

Lisa G    

I'm really surprised about the prof discussing the attendance and grade of a student. I thought due to the Buckley Amendment or FERPA that discussing a student's grade with anyone besides the student (unless there's a proxy form) is illegal. At the very least, it's unethical. That being said, if Mr Franco really only attended 2 out of 14 classes, he deserved an "F". Most prof's I know are prima donnas so it wouldn't surprise me if there were other reasons he was let go.

986 days ago


what a jerk. he is another of todays premadonna no talent "actors". if anyone deserves an F, this idiot does. any clown can get a job in hollywood today. franco is living proof.

986 days ago

Albert Krasnik    

What's this world coming to? A professor with integrity? That cannot be. No wonder he was fired. When doing the right thing interferes with the image of the school, the right thing always takes a back seat!

986 days ago


What if he received decent grades on his exams and assignments? There is no mention of that. I actually think that is what really determines how well a person did in class. The class was bought and paid for. You guys are missing the point I think.

986 days ago


Yeah I would say that Franco's acting deserves a D. I have never liked his work. And if this really is the reason for the teachers termination then that is shameful on NYU. Franco got the grade he deserves!

986 days ago


When I was in college, if you missed five classes, you would have been dropped and given an incomplete. I stand with the teacher who gave Franco a "D" though Franco deserved an "F". The teachers who gave Franco good grades because of the perks should be fired for conflict of interests. I'll never go see another James Franco movie again if he throws his celebrity around like this. These are the types of stars that need to be taken down.

985 days ago


Most people would cut off their left arm to go to NYU

985 days ago


I would like to see the actual do***ents and not the paraphrased garbage "this would have never happened to a white professor" crap. Either he really is that stupid or this is a ploy to hurt his credibility.

985 days ago

Sue Tom    

This professor sounds like a whiney b*tch who deserves to get fired for immaturity. Playing the race card, oh, give me a break. Franco should have been given *some* credit for trying at what is a tremendously hard task ... being a highly successful full-time actor *and* trying to get a degree at the same time. Who cares if he missed most of the classes? Obviously he knows the subject far better than the prof!! Franco's famous, and the prof is a nobody whiney little ****. As long as he ultimately proved he mastered the subject of the class, he deserved to pass. Otherwise, the prof is just being a typical self-adoring idiot educator who wants to have his behind kissed and every one of his words hung onto for the glorious utterances they are.

985 days ago
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