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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Former USC Student Featured in Controversial Web Clip Speaks Out

Evan Paley is one of several USC students featured in the trailer for James Franco's new webseries "Undergrads."

A former USC student who was one of several students featured in the trailer for actor James Franco's controversial webseries "Undergrads" has spoken out about his involvement and the university's reaction.

Evan Paley, now a USC alum, says he believes that the school's negative reaction to the trailer's release is "silly."

Evan Paley, one of the students featured in the trailer (Photo courtesy ATVN)
Evan Paley, one of the students featured in the trailer (Photo courtesy ATVN)

"I think what makes USC [the school that it is] is the social life as well as the education," Paley said. "The classroom is a great place, but learning there isn't the only way of learning. You can also learn in the social scene."

The trailer for "Undergrads" showed several USC students partying and participating in that social scene. The first episode of the webseries was supposed to air Thursday, but was pulled as a result of the backlash from USC and other sources.

"The University of Southern California does not endorse nor did it authorize the web series 'Undergrads'" said USC vice president of student affairs Michael L. Jackson in a released statement. "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."

Paley disagreed, arguing that the series is an accurate depiction of the "average life of a college student."

"The trailer, the way it was cut, sent signals of 'All they do is party at school'", Paley said. "It's a little misrepresentative."

Paley maintained that the show is not harmful to the image of the school or the students portrayed.

"When you're going to college, you're expecting a social scene," Paley said. "We work hard, and we play hard."

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