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Franco’s first director role: a legal comedy

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in Firing,Human Resources

What’s weirder: Actor James Franco earning a D in a drama class, or a NYU professor alleging he got fired for ­giving Franco the lousy grade?

José Angel Santana, who taught Franco in a 2010 directing class, says the university was so eager to please its star student—who is seeking a master of fine arts degree—that it retaliated when Santana issued the low grade. He says he was ostracized by other professors and ultimately fired. His wrongful termination lawsuit asks for reinstatement and back pay.

For his part, Santana says Franco deserved the D. The actor—an Oscar nominee for his performance in “127 Hours” and who ap­­peared in five other movies that year—is said to have missed 12 of Santana’s 14 classes.

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