James Franco Withdrawn As UCLA Commencement Speaker
The Milk star received his undergraduate degree in English from the school in 2008 and was asked to return to speak at this year's graduation ceremony.
But students in the class of 2009 were angered by the education officials' choice of speaker, insisting a more eligible candidate should be chosen. They even set up a page on social networking site Facebook.com to rally support for their campaign to have Franco replaced.
The founders of the group UCLA Students Against James Franco as Commencement Speaker claimed the star lacked "the wisdom and perspective such a speaker is meant to provide the graduates".
And the actor appears to have bowed to pressure to withdraw from the June 12 event - although he cites a scheduling clash for canceling the appearance, reports EW.com.
He says, "I deeply regret not being able to keep my commitment to giving the commencement speech at UCLA's graduation this year.
"Unfortunately the date conflicts with me needing to be on location to begin pre-production on my next film. I wish everyone in the 2009 class the best of luck in all of their future endeavors."
Franco is currently enrolled at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where he studies filmmaking, in addition to the city's Columbia University where he's completing a Master of Fine Arts Writing Program.
(This news article provided by World Entertainment News Network)
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