Actor James Franco pulls out of UCLA grad speech
AP "LOS ANGELES – Actor James Franco says he has dropped a plan to give a commencement speech at the University of California, Los Angeles, a move that may have been prompted by pressure from students.
Franco issued a statement saying he canceled his June 12 appearance because of conflicts with preproduction demands for his next film.
However, the "Pineapple Express" star had been the object of opposition from students who said he was not the right fit for the commencement speech.
"The problem with him as a speaker comes down to the fact he was a peer for so many of us," UCLA senior Erin Moore said. "He was in our class. He's not a role model. And he hasn't had time to accomplish anything with his degree."
Franco, 31, enrolled at UCLA in 1996 and graduated last year with a degree in creative writing. He would have been the youngest person and most recent graduate to deliver a commencement speech at UCLA.
Soon after the commencement announcement in March, Moore set up a Facebook page called "UCLA Students Against James Franco as Commencement Speaker." Hundreds joined, and Moore estimated about 80 percent of them are UCLA students."
What's hysterical is that there's a facebook page of "Students Against UCLA Students Against James Franco as Commencement Speaker".
Now, please... James Franco is just a frickin' hottie if there ever was one... And he sleeps like a baby. Just look at him! This is when he was over the other night.
He had been reading poetry to me and got tired from his busy schedule of filming and acting and being on the receiving end of ignorance from peeps like Erin Less (I mean, Moore). LOOK AT HIM! So sweet... and hot. I should've tea-bagged him right then and there.
Then, I was all, "WAKE UP, BISH!! WAKE UP!! AIN'T NO SLEEPIN' GOIN' ON! DANG!" So, he woke up.
And I slapped a bow-tie around his neck 'cause that's how I roll and prepared his tummy with warm oil. Yes, my arm and hand have become quite graceful and bare of hair and I had my luxurious locks pulled back in a Scrunchie. Why do you ask?
Then after I lit some candles, I was all, "Hold on, James! I needs me some popcorn, bish! Just hold on, baby!" 'Cause I likes popcorn with my menz.
And he was all, "MMMPPPFFFHHHH", 'cause you know, his mouth was taped up. But, I think both you and I KNOW that he was commenting on how hot I am and what a super-porn, rockstar ass I've got going on.
And I'm really reluctant to share these next shots with you because they're so personal to me and James, but I'm going to because I like you guys and well, I just feel like I should share them with you... 'cause again, that's how I roll.
So, the top pics of the following collage are of us at the beach. James had been swimming and then, I went for more popcorn and soda and he was all mad yelling at me with no pants on because he hates it when I leave him. (And just ignore that whole, "James Franco in James Dean" and "James Franco in Sonny" crap... I don't know WHAT that's all about... damn film developers RUINED my collage.)
So, then yeah... The middle left pic is when he was 12 or something and we were playing Legos with his shirt off and then the right middle pic is when he's getting all on top of me and that's when I was a young woman. And then the bottom left pic is of James in the bathroom wondering where all the hair products went and then the middle bottom pic is of my graceful and bare of hair hand with a long thumbnail getting ready to spank James on his tushie from way far back. And then, after I spanked him and he yelled at me, I shut myself in a room sobbing and the bottom right pic is him trying to talk me out... naked.
Well, the students who were against my honey speaking at the commencement, go on to talk about how yes, they're proud of him and it's nothing against him personally, but that he isn't as esteemed as say, "Michelle Obama". And that for the caliber of UCLA, it should be someone of her ranking.
That's quite a message that Erin Moore and her peers are sending out with their "education".
I remember when I was 15 years old. I made a prank phone call with a friend to another friend. I don't remember what I said, or why I said it. I just remember that it really hurt the friend's feelings.
Well, a couple of weeks later, I was at a festival and some big dumb thug came up to me and said, "Come with me. Bruce wants to speak with you..." He was rubbing my neck while we walked as though he were preparing me for a fight. I was scrawny, 15 and scared. I walked with a lump in my throat and on the verge of pissing my pants. He walked me over to where my friend, the victim of my prank phone call was with her boyfriend, "Bruce".
Bruce proceeded to yell at me, while my friend watched. And the guy who was standing behind me held me in place until "Bruce" was finished yelling. A whole group of them looked on and I was humiliated.
I tried to talk to my friend, "Bruce's" girlfriend, but he yelled, "DON'T TALK TO HER! GET OUT OF HERE!!"
So, I walked away completely embarrassed and angry.
I later found a younger cousin of mine at the festival who I used to be quite close with... She's a couple of years younger than I am, and we grew up together. So, while I was 15, she was 13... I told her what happened and how mad I was. And she just calmly said, "Well, how would you feel if you were in their shoes?"
It was a total light bulb moment. A complete, "AAA-HHAAA!" And I've never forgotten it.
It was simple. She talked of the notion of empathizing and she was 13. And more importantly, I listened. Thankfully.
I eventually saw that couple at a party... It was probably a couple of months later. And I apologized to both of them. They accepted and we moved on. But, I never forgot what my cousin said. And now, some 25 years later, I think how difficult true empathy is for people to grasp. But, when empathy is embraced, how unbelievably profound it is... and is nothing short of brilliantly essential in respectful communication, in understanding and true love.
And what a lesson that was... for a student of 15 and a teacher of 13.
I have a feeling that we all have some type of wisdom that we might not often follow ourselves, but can still share nonetheless, no matter what our age. There's a saying that the reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is because we should be listening twice as much as we're talking.
Initially, I understand Erin Moore's reaction and simple reasoning. But, if given the chance, I would've encouraged her to look further. To have more of an open mind... one that real education encourages, instead of talking so much, to maybe listen more.
She actually might learn something.
And then, she'd have something worth saying.