Prof: I Was Fired After Giving Franco Bad Grade


A disgruntled New York University professor says he got canned after he gave James Franco a D in his class.

That's a better grade then America gave him as an Oscar host.

Jose Angel Santana is suing New York University, saying the school fired him after he gave the school's resident Oscar nominee a D in his Directing the Actor II class. Santana says Franco merited the grade because of his poor attendance record.

A rep for the school calls the claim "ridiculous."

Maybe they fired him for not giving Franco the F he likely deserved. According to Santana's lawsuit, filed Friday in New York Supreme Court, the "127 Hours" star showed up for two of the course's 14 sessions and had 12 unexcused absences.

"Santana, as a full-time professor in the department, had every right to give such a grade to a student who failed to adequately attend and participate in his class," the suit states.

Santana says Franco had comparable attendance records for other classes within NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, but that other, apparently still-employed instructors, gave him higher grades.

Franco must have been great, those two days he showed up.

Santana's suit actually doesn't lay the entire blame for his firing on his treatment of Franco, but his attorney told E! News it was "the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back."

"Professor Santana, because of his ethnicity (Spanish) was treated unfairly by his department," says attorney Matthew Blit. "He was paid less than other professors within the department and worked out of a storage closet as an office with water leaks."

That makes sense in a place like New York, where there are hardly any folks of Latin origin.

"We would like him to be rehired," Blit said. "NYU was a top university to him and it was very hurtful to him" when he was let go. "He would accept (NYU's) apologies."

NYU spokesman John Beckman didn't indicate that would be happening anytime soon, telling E! News in a statement: "We have not seen the lawsuit yet, but the claims we are seeing in the media are ridiculous. Beyond that, it is regrettable and disappointing to see a faculty member--former or otherwise--discuss any student's grade for the purpose of personal publicity."

Franco hasn't commented publicly on the suit. Funny enough, he rejoined the Tisch School this fall as a member of the faculty, teaching a course on adapting poetry into films.

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