James Franco and USC

Oh James Franco, you’re really the intellectual figure who just keeps on giving, aren’t you?

After a much-ridiculed graduate career, the actor recently produced a movie about the University of Southern California. USC is not pleased. According to an article by Angel Jennings and Rick Rojas in the Los Angeles Times:

“Undergrads,” the USC-centered Web reality series, focuses on a bacchanal a la “The Hangover”: Amorous, good-looking young people hooking up, wild parties, run-ins with the law and booze. Lots and lots of it.

The Web series was produced by actor and perennial student James Franco and follows a wolf pack of USC students through the travails of off-campus life. The show depicts a “senior year bucket list” that includes a young woman painting her body in Trojan colors and going to a football game, young men chasing after women and, in one scene, chugging vodka from a bottle. It also includes grainy, night-vision shots of police shutting down parties.

But, we’ve been trying so hard to get your respect, the institution protests:

“More accurately representative of USC are the students who provide hundreds of hours in community service, who rank among the country’s most academically and artistically gifted, and who value diversity in cultures, nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds among their peers,” said Michael L. Jackson, vice president of student affairs, in a statement.

Okay, it’s not inaccurate if the show features things that actually occurred to USC students. It might be unflattering, but it’s entirely accurate.

It’s also worth pointing out that students who “provide hundreds of hours in community service, who rank among the country’s most academically and artistically gifted, and value diversity in cultures, nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds among their peers” are often also good-looking people who hook up at wild parties and drink a great deal.

Franco, who earned his undergraduate degree from UCLA, actually might be a rather good example of that sort of student.

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