James Franco (Alberto Pizzoli/Getty Images)

• A former New York University professor is suing the school, claiming the film studies department fired him for giving James Franco a “D.” José Angel Santana told the New York Post the actor — widely gushed over for pursuing multiple graduate degrees — missed 12 of 14 directing classes but that the university wanted only “to curry favor” with the star. NYU officials declined to discuss the suit and told MSNBC it was “regrettable and disappointing” to hear a faculty member discuss a student’s grades in public.

Maya Angelou (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Read earlier: Amid media controversy, rapper Common performs at White House, 5/11/11