Did NYU Fire a Professor for Giving James Franco a D?

The Guardian:

A professor who was fired by New York University has filed a lawsuit claiming he was dismissed for giving celebrity student James Franco a D grade for poor attendance.

Dr José Angel Santana, who taught as an assistant arts professor on the actor’s graduate film course, says that Franco – who supplements his acting career with stints as a novelistinstallation artistfilm directorsoap star and part-time lecturer at NYU – attended just two of his 14 lectures on a course called Directing the Actor II. Santana alleges that the university has given the star preferential treatment because of his celebrity status. “The school has bent over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment, that’s for sure,” he told the New York Post. “The university has done everything in its power to curry favour with James Franco.”

Santana also claims that Franco received good grades from his former colleagues despite similar levels of absence from their lectures. He says that this was in return for the publicity the actor’s enrolment has brought the school and because Franco has collaborated with faculty members on independent film projects. William Vincent, a drama starring Franco that was released in 2010, was directed by NYU professor Jay Anania. The film featured a walk-on part for John Tintori, the graduate film department chairman.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.