James Franco has proven that he can do a whole lot - his acting has been Oscar-nominated, he's sold invisible art, he wrote a book, he's directed a documentary, he's a photographer, and has something like four college degrees - but did a professor at New York University get fired for giving the illustrious star a D?
Jose Angel Santana, a professor at New York University, gave Franco a D for the class 'Directing the Actor II.' Apparently Franco missed 12 of the 14 scheduled classes, and most colleges dock grades for absences. A D seems fair if did miss that many classes - but then the professor got fired. Santana is suing NYU for wrongful termination and cites the grade he gave Franco as the reason.
He alleges that after Franco recieved the grade the actor began to "publicly ridicule" the professor and that the school had made itself a "Franco-friendly environment." Another of Franco's professors was hired by the actor to write and direct a film, and Franco gave a cameo to the head of the film department in another movie; Santana believes Franco recieved good grades in return. [via Time]
It does seem strange that Franco is able to carry on all these activities and his acting career while supposedly studying, but perhaps it's even stranger for a professor to be fired for giving one student a D? That's not even failing - something seems amiss with Santana's main reason.
One of Franco's Yale professors came to the actor's defense in an online article. "But I've been James' professor," wrote R. John Williams. "And it struck me as highly uncharacteristic for him to just 'blow off class,' as several articles are suggesting." [via Slate]
There is a lot of talk going back and forth about how Franco conducts himself - especially after pictures like the one below are passed around the media. However, that was just one instance - who's to say he just wasn't incredibly tired that day? I will admit here that in my college days, I've definitely nodded off in a lecture.