Published December 19, 2011
| New York Post
James Franco’s tired James Dean act got an NYU professor booted from the school last year — after the teacher dared to give the overhyped Hollywood hunk a “D” for blowing off class, a lawsuit charges.
José Angel Santana said he slapped the “127 Hours’’ star with the bad grade because he missed 12 of his 14 “Directing the Actor II” classes while pursuing a master’s in fine arts.
Santana said he then suffered all kinds of drama — first from Franco, who publicly ridiculed him, then from his department, which axed him over the “D.”
“The school has bent over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment, that’s for sure,” Santana, 58, told The Post. “The university has done everything in its power to curry favor with James Franco.”
Santana, who is suing NYU in Manhattan Supreme Court for his job back, asserts that Franco, whose career took off after a 2001 portrayal of James Dean, acted like a rebel without a clue in his other courses, too, blowing off just as many classes. But the star’s other professors at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts still gave him good grades, Santana said.
Big names such as Franco’s typically translate into big bucks for universities.
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.