Hip, hilarious and oh-so-topical, George Takei has one of the most popular and beloved Facebook feeds on the social web. His compassion and humor have helped him smoothly reincarnate himself as a modern Internet sensation after starring as Hikaru Sulu on the 1960s Star Trek TV series.
That's why many of his loyal fans were dismayed to learn last week that their online hero is not, in fact, the clever one-man idea factory he seems to be on Facebook.
How'd the secret get out? An email that journalist Rick Polito sent to Jim Romenesko's media-watching blog. In the message, Polito said that he's been paid $10 per joke for producing content — some of which "got 10 likes per second for hours"— for Takei's Facebook page.
But now, it seems Polito is feeling guilty about his wake of shattered dreams and now-tainted jokes.
In a follow-up email on Wednesday, Polito told Romenesko that he's since apologized to Takei and the latter's husband, Brad, for inadvertently spilling the beans. From Romenesko's blog:
Polito tells Romenesko readers today: “I wrote an apology to George and Brad and their guy said he’d pass it on. 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.”
He adds: “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, however, doesn't seem too fazed by the revelation that miffed some fans.
“What is this hoo-ha about my FB posts?” he told Wired in an email shortly after the story broke. “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.”
Do you care whether or not Takei gets outside help creating his super-popular Facebook posts? Let us know in the comments.