University professor 'fired after giving James Franco poor grade'
Published 20/12/2011 | 08:09
A Columbia University professor has claimed he was fired after giving Oscar nominated actor James Franco a poor grade.
Jose Angel Santana gave the 127 Hours star a D after he failed to attend almost all of his classes at Columbia University in New York.
Franco was enrolled in a fine arts degree course and was scheduled to attend a film directing course.
But in legal papers Santana, 58, claims he was sacked after giving Franco a poor grade for only attending two out of his 14 classes.
Santana said other professors gave Franco high grades and the university wanted high profile celebrities on their courses.
He said: "The school has bent over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment, that's for sure.
"The university has done everything in its power to curry favour with James Franco.
"In my opinion, they've turned the NYU graduate film degree into swag for James Franco's purposes, a possession, something you can buy."
Franco was later hired by the University's Tisch School of Arts as a lecturer on how to adapt poetry into short films.
Earlier this year a student at the university posted a photo of Franco fast asleep during a lecture. He was also reported to have been spotted asleep in the school library.
Santana, who is suing the university for his job back, said Franco joined his class, Directing the Actor II, last year.
He was the only professor to give Franco a poor grade but denied he had a problem with the actor.
According to his lawsuit Santana filed at Manhattan Supreme Court he claims the university gave Franco good grades after he hired one of their other professors Jay Anania to write and direct a short film.
It is also claimed the chairman of the graduate film department was given a cameo role in the film.
Franco has directed 13 short films and documentaries with his most recent called The Broken Tower being described as "quite tedious" by Variety magazine.
Franco has not made any comment about the law suit.