James Franco has some harsh words for the New York University professor who claims he was fired because he gave the actor a “D.”
“No teacher will ever be fired from NYU for giving a student a D,” Franco told reporters on Friday at a Q&A session for his new film, “The Broken Tower.” “He wasn’t fired, he was asked not to come back after three years because they didn’t think he was a good teacher.”
Jose Angel Santana filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against NYU in December, alleging that when he gave Franco a “D” in Directing the Actor II for missing 12 out of 14 classes, he was demoted, isolated from the university, and eventually denied reappointment.
Franco blamed bad teaching for Santana’s dismissal and said the prof “used my name to get attention.”
“He’s not going to win the lawsuit and he’s not going to get hired at another institution,” he said. “It’s ridiculous. And I’m teaching at NYU, so what does that say?”
As for why he played hooky?
“I decided to do ’127 Hours’ instead of going to acting class,” he said. “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 Danny Boyle. I felt like that was the right decision.”
“127 Hours” scored six Oscar nominations in 2011, including a best actor nod for Franco. That kind of praise means more to him than a glowing report card.
“I did not care one bit about the grade, I knew I was going to get the grade,” he said. “I don’t even know what my grades are in NYU because grades don’t matter, what matters is the films that you make. Anybody coming out of film school is not going to go to Sony or Warner Bros. and say ‘Hey, I got an A in acting class, give me a job.’”
NYU told ABCNews.com that Santana’s lawsuit “is still pending in its early stages.” Santana did not immediately respond to ABCNews.com’s request for comment.