And no, not that cool ghost from the beloved crime-solving kids show of the 90s. Instead, George Takei just isn’t as witty as we all thought.
At least that’s the spin being reported with the “news” former Enterprise helmsmen and 76-year-old Star Trek actor has been receiving jokes from comedy writers that he then shares on his Facebook page under the guise he’s the one posting. I know, I know, this’ll be a scandal which will rock Hollywood and its use of social media to its very core. Fans are outraged, feeling betrayed to learn comments like, “I’m bacon breakfast fun again,” posted along with a photo of bacon aren’t truly from Takei.
Okay, maybe it’s because I’m not one of Takei’s 4.1 million Facebook followers, but I don’t feel this betrayal quite so earnestly. I honestly couldn’t give a shit if Takei hired a chimpanzee to type his Facebook posts. Turns out, it was Rick Polito who had been hired to write jokes at $10 a pop, and then spilled the beans in an interview with media blogger Jim Romenesko.
And even as this point in the article I’m still surprised over the hubbub this “breaking news” has caused. I mean, sure, I guess those Facebook followers were hoping for genuine interactions with their favorite actor through the posting of recycled internet memes, but I’ve got a hunch those are the same folks who think Jon Stewart writes every joke on The Daily Show. Or that Conan O’Brien writes every word of his opening monologue. Facebook hasn’t been about true, personal interactions for years and maybe this “scandal” will finally open up everyone’s eyes to that fact. It’s a business and it’s a tool for making more business.
Commenting on the kerfuffle, Takei told Wired,
I have Brad, my husband, to help me and interns to assist. What is important is the reliability of my posts being there to greet my fans with a smile or a giggle every morning. That’s how we keep on growing.
What’s that sound like? A business strategy. Not all that different from what Polito was hoping to score from the collaboration, saying in a follow-up interview with Romenesko,
I just said that I’d been looking for any mention of my book I could get and that I hadn’t meant to expose anything. I don’t update his page. I’ve had no direct contact with George. I’ve sent him some memes, as have other comedian types, and I was happy for the exposure.
Bastards, where do you sit on this controversy? Do you feel betrayed by Takei’s non-disclosure that not everything on his Facebook page comes from him personally? Or could you give flying fuck?