• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest
JUN
12
10 MOS

George Takei Facebook Ghostwriter Apologizes to 'Star Trek' Star

To the dismay of fans, Rick Polito revealed he had occasionally written jokes for the actor’s popular page, which was largely believed to be curated by Takei alone.

George Takei - H 2013
George Takei

A writer who said he ghostwrote jokes for George Takei’s Facebook page is beaming down an apology to the Star Trek legend.

Some fans of the actor expressed disappointment after comedy writer Rick Polito said in an interview with media blogger Jim Romenesko that he wrote jokes for Takei’s page for $10 each.

PHOTOS: 15 Key 'Star Trek' Moments

“The power of George is unbelievable. His fans are a viral army,” Polito said in the June 6 story. “He may not be a stockholder, but he owns Facebook.”

That quote caused a strong reaction online, as it was generally believed Takei -- who has parlayed pithy Facebook postings of memes and social commentary into a career resurgence -- was solely responsible for his page’s content. (Occasionally he will preface a post by saying it was sent to him by a fan.)

“Was it naive of me to think that George Takei was actually writing all this stuff?” wrote one commenter on BuzzFeed. “I feel duped and sad, and also silly.”

In a next-day email to Wired, Takei asked, “What is this hoo-ha about my FB posts?”

He added: “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.”

His page boasts 4.18 million followers, with his posts continuing to receive tens of thousands of likes and shares each.

In a follow-up interview with Romenesko published Wednesday, Polito said he had written an apology to Takei and his husband, Brad Altman.

PHOTOS: 30 Groundbreaking Sci-Fi Films

"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," Polito said. “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.”

Takei, 76, continues to attend Star Trek conventions and has enjoyed recent guest spots on NBC’s The New Normal, CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 and NBC’s The Neighbors.