New York University is in hot water over a lawsuit filed this week, in which a professor alleges that the prestigious university fired him for giving Hollywood Celebrity James Franco (Spiderman, 127 Hours) a D. Franco had been pursuing a Master’s in Fine Arts degree from the school, when he enrolled in Jose Angel Santana’s “Directing the Actor II” class. Santana said the star had missed 12 of 14 classes that semester.
Santana is alleging the University created a hostile work environment for allowing Franco to publicly ridicule him and then they showed him the door.
“The school has bent over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment, that’s for sure,” Santana, 58, told The New York Post. “The university has done everything in its power to curry favor with James Franco.”
Santana is suing for damages and back wages over the issue. He says that the star had been just as excessively absent in his other classes also but the University bent over backwards to make sure the actor looked good and got his good grades.
It is not uncommon for schools to make huge sums of money, having Hollywood celebrities attend their programs. The PR value alone cannot be underestimated. After his stint there as a student, Franco even became a student teaching a course on poetry the following semester.
Santana suggested that Franco received good grades for hiring one of the Universities other professors, Jay Anania, to help him adapt a script.
Do you think actors should be given special treatment when they take classes at Universities or should they be expected to adhere to the same standard as other students?