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NYU Slams Fired Professor for Exposing James Franco's Bad Grade

December 20, 2011, 2:14 am GMT

Graduate film instructor Jose Angel Santana has slapped New York University with a lawsuit, claiming that he lost his job after giving the '127 Hours' star a D for his poor attendance record.

James Franco

New York University isn't staying quiet over claims that James Franco's bad grade has cost a professor his job. Graduate film instructor Jose Angel Santana recently filed a lawsuit against the university, claiming that he was fired for giving the Hollywood star a D. In response, the university called the claims "ridiculous".

"We have not seen the lawsuit yet, but the claims we are seeing in the media are ridiculous," said NYU spokesman John Beckman in a statement regarding the wrongful termination lawsuit. "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."

Santana filed the suit in New York Supreme Court last Friday, December 16. The fired professor stated that he gave the "127 Hours" star a D in his "Directing the Actor II" for missing 12 of the 14 sessions, while other professors at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts still gave him good grades despite his poor attendance records.

Speaking of what he believes to be one of the reasons why he got fired, Santana told The New York Post, "The school has bent over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment, that's for sure." He added, "The university has done everything in its power to curry favor with James Franco."

Santana also suggested that Franco got good grades as a form of payback for hiring fellow NYU professor Jay Anania. In his suit, the disgruntled professor stated that the Oscar-nominated actor brought in Anania to write and direct "William Vincent", which was featured at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.

Santana, however, didn't only lay the blame on Franco. His attorney Matthew Blit told E! News, "Professor Santana, because of his ethnicity [Spanish] was treated unfairly by his department. He was paid less than other professors within the department and worked out of a storage closet as an office with water leaks."

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