NYU's José Angel Santana sues James Franco for defamation.

Ex-NYU Professor Sues James Franco For Defamation

Ex-NYU Professor Sues James Franco For Defamation

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Sept. 6 2012 12:02 PM

Academic Grudge Match: James Franco vs. NYU's José Angel Santana (Cont.)

James Franco attends the 'Spring Breakers' Premiere during The 69th Venice Film Festival at the Palazzo del Cinema on September 5, 2012 in Venice, Italy

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.

The feud between James Franco and one of his old New York University professors continues.

The New York Post reports that José Angel Santana filed a lawsuit against the Hollywood star this week, claiming that Franco intentionally defamed the ex-NYU film professor because he gave him a "D" after the advanced-degree hoarder blew off nearly a semester’s worth of classes.


Speaking to the paper, Santana went topical with his pull-quote:

"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."
Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.

Santana claims that he lost his job because of his decision to give Franco a bad grade, and is also suing the university in a bid to get his job back. He spoke with the New York Post last December when he first filed that suit, telling the paper that Franco skipped out on 12 of the 14 meetings of Santana’s Directing the Actor II class, and that the former Oscars host then responded to the sub-par grade by publicly ridiculing him. The rest of the department then followed suit, Santana alleged, later firing him. (NYU, as you would expect, is denying Santana's claims.)

"I decided to do 127 Hours instead of going to acting class," Franco said when asked last spring about his class attendance. "I’ve been in eight years of acting class. I didn’t feel like I needed to waste my time with a bad teacher and that I should go and work with [director] Danny Boyle. I felt like that was the right decision."