Well, this is out of left field. A little over a year ago, we did a video (shot by our trusty videographer Chris Barrett) interview with Oscar nominee James Franco. Remember? He told us he got a D in acting class at New York University as part of his grad program. The video is below in the video player. Now the acting teacher, Jose Angel Santana, is suing NYU. He says they fired him because he gave Franco the D. He’s represented by young labor lawyer Matthew Blit, who’s also represented strippers who felt their rights were being violated. Monday, Monday! Blit has never contacted this column. But Santana doesn’t deny he gave the bad grade. But we have no idea yet why NYU got rid of Blit–it’s just his claim. NYU will surely file a counterclaim.
The New York Post says Santana and Blit are claiming Franco was an absentee student. But Franco was shooting “127 Hours” during that semester. He had to cut off his own arm! Isn’t that considered Life Experience? And Franc-ly (to employ a Post-like pun) the Oscar nominee has been incredibly popular with his fellow students at NYU, where acting class was a small part of his Masters program in filmmaking.
UPDATE Matthew Blit has sent over the complaint. It has less to do with Franco than with Santana’s accusations of racial discrimination. He also says that another professor, Jay Anania, also the brother of the late Elizabeth Edwards, had it in for him. Anania wound up working with Franco as a director on a film project. But Santana’s biggest complaint is that he was paid less than other teachers and stuck in an office that used to be a broom closet.