A former New York University professor has filed a lawsuit against the school for wrongful termination, claiming that he was given the axe... after he gave actor James Franco a 'D' in his class.

José Angel Santana claims that he gave Franco a 'D' in his "Directing the Actor II" course during the Spring 2010 semester because the actor had missed 12 of the 14 classes. According to the suit, which can be viewed in full here thanks to TMZ, when word got out that Santana had given Franco such a low grade, he suffered what can only be described as public humiliation from his colleagues and from Franco himself. 

Santana says that the other professors played favorites with Franco, including one professor Jay Anania, who Franco hired to write and direct a film for him. "In my opinion," Santana told the New York Post, "they've turned the NYU graduate film degree into swag for James Franco's purposes, a possession, something you can buy."

NYU released a statement regarding Santana's suit, saying, "It is regrettable and disappointing to see a faculty member - former or otherwise - discuss any student's grade for the purpose of his or her personal publicity."

Considering that this picture of Franco "learning" in one of his classes at Columbia University back in 2009 exists, we're really not sure what to believe.

[Via TMZ]

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