James Franco, the Hollywood star turned pseudo-academic, is apparently causing some trouble at New York University, where he recently took graduate courses in filmmaking.

One former NYU professor alleges (gasp) that the university was totally willing to let Franco do virtually no academic work because of the celebrity cache he gave the school and its graduate program. According to an article by Jamie Schram and Frank Rosario in the New York Post:

Jose Angel Santana said he slapped the “127 Hours’’ star with the bad grade because he missed 12 of his 14 “Directing the Actor II” classes while pursuing a master’s in fine arts.

“The school has bent over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment, that’s for sure,” Santana, 58, told The Post. “The university has done everything in its power to curry favor with James Franco.”

He also argues that he was fired because he gave Franco a D in his class.

This last part seems a little difficult to believe. Someone willing to go to all of this trouble to openly shame someone no one thought was a real student probably didn’t exactly play well with others during his time as visiting assistant arts professor.

Sure, NYU isn’t all that happy with Santana’s calling Franco out, but it I find it unlikely Franco’s D was the only thing Santana did to annoy the administration.

Santana is suing NYU in Manhattan Supreme Court. [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer