The reaction to James Franco's performance-art piece as co-host of the Academy Awards has been unanimously negative, something Franco would know if he had spent much time on the Internet after the show. (We do not blame him for not doing this.) Instead, he must have just read his local campus newspaper. He did not handle the criticism well.
Franco, who signed up for Twitter just a week or so before the Academy Awards and did plenty of Tweeting from backstage, sent out his first post-Oscars tweet yesterday, and it wasn't a pretty one: It said, simply, "F--- The Yale Daily News" in red photoshop ink over a picture of himself.
What was that about? Over the weekend, the Daily News wrote a story about Franco, who is pursuing a doctorate at Yale. (His need to be in classes during the week caused him to miss most Oscar rehearsals, which might have contributed to his poor Oscar performance). Yale student Cokey Cohen wrote that Franco's Twitter "sort of sucks," pointing out that Franco tends to just throw up silly pictures of himself rather than attacking the medium with the gusto of, say, Charlie Sheen. It was a relatively innocous piece; certainly, Franco could have read far, far worse.
Needless to say, Cohen was taken aback and a bit bewildered; we would have been too. Cohen responded yesterday on the Yale Daily News' site in as friendly a fashion as you could expect from someone who was just told to eff off by a internationally known movie star. "It's also possibly the pinnacle of my career as a writer," Cohen wrote. Cohen also argued that Franco's "whole life is a form of postmodern performance art." At this point, no one would dare argue with that.