Administration responds to controversial web series based on USC

James Franco’s new web series “Undergrads,” which the video says will air Thursday at 8 p.m. on, follows the lives of several USC  students.

In an interview with MTV, Dave Franco, James Franco’s brother, said he helped film, direct and produce the web series.

Undergrads · "Undergrads," actor James Franco's new web series, shows the lives of college students. In this screenshot from the trailer, USC students tailgate on McCarthy Quad. -

“This past semester, I was working more behind the camera, and I directed, produced and wrote this Web series about college life,” Dave Franco told MTV. ” We figured, ‘[College] is crazy enough as it is; let’s just show what’s really going on.’ So we followed a handful of kids at USC throughout the semester, and the whole tone is a little strange, because it’s part documentary, part reality, part scripted.”

The trailer for the web series shows students playing Twister at a tailgate in McCarthy Quad, discussing “cuddling,” pouring beer on each other and taking shots with high-five chasers.

Dave Franco said the web series, which he hopes will grab the attention of FX, Showtime or HBO, accurately portrays life at USC.

“I went to USC, and watching this footage, I can attest that this is really what it’s like. This is what happens on a typical night,” Dave Franco told MTV.

As of publication, Dave Franco was unavailable for comment.

Michael L. Jackson, USC vice president for student affairs, released the following statement today in response to a preview of the show.


“The University of Southern California does not endorse nor did it authorize the web series ‘Undergrads.’

The scenes in the series trailer could have been filmed on many college campuses. More accurately representative of USC are the students who provide hundreds of hours in community service, who rank among the country’s most academically and artistically gifted, and who value diversity in cultures, nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds among their peers.”


James Franco on WhoSay

8 replies
  1. former trojan girl
    former trojan girl says:

    look, as my name says, i’m an alum. the truth is that usc is a playground for very wealthy white kids. drunken parties, obsessive football worship, and an almost cult-like culture is pervasive. not to mention an undertone of entitlement. there’s a fortress around the school for gods’ sake!!!! the popular image of usc IS what the school’s about. period. accept this reality and actively work to change it (and accepting anybody with a high SAT score and wealthy zipcode isn’t gonna do that). DIVERSIFY the campus! tear down the wall that separates the campus from the surrounding community! stop burying your heads in the sand.

  2. TrojanAl
    TrojanAl says:

    Pretty sure this was not a smear campaign for USC but an opportunity seen by these 3 USC actors to try and take advantage of an opportunity co-signed by a famous actor (James Franco) so they could pad their resume with something. I dont think any of the 3 cared how it would affect USC, their alma mater, at any point during the filming and certainly nobody looking for a break in showbiz would really care either to be quite honest. These 3 actors/students im sure are hoping this is part of their break when in reality this will likely be the last we hear of them

  3. Dave
    Dave says:

    It’s amazing that just a “select” few were chosen to represent an incredible university and amazingly talented and intuitive student body. May I assure the readers, that these few are not in any way a representation of the majority of students attending USC. Not surprising though, that if these few weren’t smart enough to better represent the university they weren’t smart enough to figure out the true intention of an UCLA alumnus and his brother.

  4. Anthony
    Anthony says:

    What an annoying web series that makes our school look bad. If we want to become a truly elite university, we need to get rid of these stereotypes. Like someone has already said, this represents GREEK life at USC, which is just 20-25% of the school. Hope the administration can do something about it. Releasing a statement is simply not enough.

  5. Maximilian
    Maximilian says:

    This is all kinds of dumb. And not at all reflective of the 20,000 undergrads who go to the school, myself included.

  6. John
    John says:

    This series is seriously damaging to the image of our school. Good job Dave Franco in your contributions to your alma mater. It might discourage talented, academically-oriented students from USC. Whereas negative things that are spread by word of mouth can be dismissed as rumors, people treat what they see in video footage as truth. I support calls for a petition against this series.

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