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Former NYU Professor JosÃ© Angel Santana claims that he was fired after he gave James Franco a D in his class, which he missed 12 of 14 sessions! But James says he Â did all the work
James Francoâ€™s tired James Dean act got an NYU professor booted from the school last year â€” after the teacher dared to give the overhyped Hollywood hunk a â€œDâ€ for blowing off class, a lawsuit charges.
JosÃ© Angel Santana said he slapped the â€œ127 Hoursâ€™â€™ star with the bad grade because he missed 12 of his 14 â€œDirecting the Actor IIâ€ classes while pursuing a masterâ€™s in fine arts.
Santana said he then suffered all kinds of drama â€” first from Franco, who publicly ridiculed him, then from his department, which axed him over the â€œD.â€
â€œThe school has bent over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment, thatâ€™s for sure,â€ Santana, 58, told The Post. â€œThe university has done everything in its power to curry favor with James Franco.â€
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 starâ€™s other professors at NYUâ€™s Tisch School of the Arts still gave him good grades, Santana said.
Big names such as Francoâ€™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.
Franco hired Anania to write and direct the film â€œWilliam Vincent,â€ which starred Franco, the suit states. The film was featured at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.
â€œIn my opinion, theyâ€™ve turned the NYU graduate film degree into swag for James Francoâ€™s purposes, a possession, something you can buy,â€ Santana said.
Santana also blasted the graduate film department chairman, John Tintori, for allegedly creating a conflict of interest when he appeared in a cameo in a film financed by Franco and written and directed by Anania, the court records reveal.
Neither Anania, Tintori nor a spokesman for NYU returned calls for comment. A rep for Franco had no immediate comment.
And Santana griped that Franco got it all wrong when, speaking out about his grade, he asserted that the professor had a problem having a celebrity in his class.
â€œI did the work,â€ Franco told Showbiz411.com last year. â€œI did well in everything else.â€
Santanaâ€™s lawyer, Matthew Blit, a notable employment lawyer, said Franco was trying to cast the prof as a fool for giving a Golden Globe-winning actor a bad grade.
Santana is not the only one unmoved by Francoâ€™s work behind the camera.
A Variety magazine review this year of his film â€œThe Broken Tower,â€ about American writer Hart Crane, blasted Francoâ€™s work as a director as â€œsimply misguided and often quite tedious.â€
The film is among 13 works â€” most short films or documentaries â€” directed by Franco.
Via NY Post