So James Franco signed up for some directing classes at my alma mater, NYU, which currently charges a pancreas per credit hour, and his prof, José Angel Santana, ended up giving the 127 Hours star a D, as in “didn’t bother showing up.”
The former Oscar host retaliated by allegedly defaming Professor Santana, who subsequently was told he’d never eat lunch in Greenwich Village again. So now Santana is taking everyone to court. (Keep an eye out for that processor server…)
“Whoever was in Clint Eastwood’s chair at the Republican National Convention was more present than Mr. Franco was in my classes,” José Angel Santana told The Post, referring to the “Dirty Harry” actor’s “conversation’’ with an empty chair meant to represent President Obama
Franco is “a bully,’’ said the former full-time professor. “He uses the bully pulpit of his celebrity to punish anyone who doesn’t do his bidding.”
Santana is seeking unspecified monetary damages in the Manhattan Supreme Court civil action against Franco, who has played a rock climber who amputated his own arm to free himself from a crevasse.
The ex-instructor, who has already sued NYU, blasted Franco for making “disparaging and inaccurate public statements.”
“I didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of those falsehoods,” said Santana, who has been a teacher since 1979 and was earning $70,000 when he was fired in September 2011.
“I was outraged that someone with his attendance record at NYU had the audacity to make those statements.”
He insisted he was only doing his job while other star-struck professors “bent over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment.”
Who knows what the real skinny is, but I have a feeling the prof is leaning to the right on this one, as in being closer to the truth of the matter. I can see how easy it would be for instructors to become instant Francophiles; most of them are frustrated actors/writer/directors themselves, and a cozy working relationship with a real-live star couldn’t hurt their chances at getting out of the classroom and into deep debt paying for a hotel room on Hollywood Blvd waiting for that call to play “Man on bike” in the next Jason Bourne flick. It also helps NYU, now the fourth-best film school in the world, attract A-listers to their classrooms, which makes charging eleventy million billion dollars for a degree that will most likely get the graduate a career in … publishing … a little bit easier. (I heard that…)
Apropos of nothing: I scored 40% on this test to determine who’s a criminal. (I believe I scored so poorly because I assumed every one of them was. Including whoever thought up the test. This may be why I was kicked out of the police academy; I kept making false citizen arrests of false citizens, who “claimed” to have “diplomatic immunity.” Yeah, right, Mr. Royal Highness…like that’s a title…)