James Franco's Professor Speaks Out About Giving "D" Grade

The New York University professor who gave actor James Franco a "D" in film class is speaking out.

Professor Jose Angel Santana claims he was fired for giving the lousy grade to the Oscar®-nominated actor.

"I would have been within all of my rights to give him an "F." I didn't treat James like a celebrity in my class. And maybe that was the problem. I treated James like I treated the rest of my other students," said Santana.

Franco was making the movie 127 Hours while studying for two masters degrees at NYU and Columbia University. He skipped out on all but two of the professor's 14 classes.

INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd asked, Santana, "James Franco only attended 12 out of 14 classes. Why didn't you give him an F?"

"Because I'm a nice guy," replied Santana.

"But you could have given him an F," said Boyd.

"Absolutely. I didn't want to ruin his experience. He would not have been able to graduate with an F," said Santana.

Santana says other professors gave in to pressure from the university and gave Franco excellent grades, even though he didn't attend most of their classes either.

He claims Franco ridiculed him in this interview on showbiz411.com and that led NYU to fire him. Now Santana and his attorney, Matthew Blit, are suing the university for his job back.

"I have no bad feelings for James Franco. It's the school," said Santana.

NYU denies the teacher's claims and calls the lawsuit ridiculous.