This last year, James Franco was riding high. He had been making Oscar-nominated movies; he was appearing regularly on US TV; he talked extensively about making cutting edge art works. And he was just about to host the Oscars.
Maybe he did too much, because right about then is where things started to go wrong for James Franco.
Film professor Jose Angel Santana, formerly of the New York University (NYU) certainly seems to think that Franco spread is efforts too thinly, anyway.
In the New York Post, Santana claims that he lost his job as assistant arts professor on the actor’s graduate film course for giving the 127 Hours star a low grade for missing 12 out of 14 classes.
That would not seem an unreasonable thing for the professor to do, would it? Especially in fairness to other students who attended the course regularly.
Professor Santana said the school did all they could to accommodate the Hollywoodactor in his studies. But he had to give him the D grade for his class.
Now Santana is suing the university, for wrongfully dismissing him. He claims that Franco missed many other classes, but that other professors were more lenient with the absent star. In the process he says they debased the NYU graduate film degree, making it “a possession, something you can buy” due to is celebrity status.
As Santana pointed out, head of the graduate film department John Tintori appeared in a cameo role in a film financed by Franco. Franco is famous for supplementing his work acting Hollywoodmovies such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes with stints as a soap star (in General Hospital), part-time lecturer and installation artist.
NYU spokesman John Beckman issued a statement expressing his disappointment that a faculty member discussed a student’s grade “for the purpose of personal publicity.”
James Franco has so far refused to comment on the matter.