Fifty-eight year old Jose Angel Santana taught “Directing The Actor II” to former Freaks And Geeks star James Franco, but if he’s to be believed, very little teaching actually happened thanks to the actor’s spotty attendance. The Academy Award nominee supposedly only showed up for two of the fourteen classes, which led the professor to give him a “D”. If that all sounds like a fair and believable cause-and-effect relationship to you, Santana would agree. Unfortunately, the powers that be at NYU apparently did not. They canned Santana not long after he nearly failed Franco, and the professor says his firing was a direct result of the “D”. Now he’s suing the university for his job back.

According to The New York Post, Santana’s motion claims Franco would have done just as poorly in his other classes too had the dean and various teachers not bent over backwards to accommodate him. In fact, the lawsuit further alleges that Franco’s hiring of his other professor John Tintori to write and direct William Vincent created a serious conflict of interest, especially considering the dean appeared in the movie also.

If Santana was in fact fired for giving the actor a “D”, that’s incredibly despicable and pathetic. If, however, there’s a whole lot more to this story and the professor was given the heave-ho for something else, then that’s another matter entirely. Regardless, I’m inclined to believe Franco did only attend two classes, considering that's a black and white fact that could have easily been disproven. If you want to go back to school, then go back to school. Don’t half ass it and pretend you’ve accomplished something.

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