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George Takei an author and actor known for playing the character Hikaru Sulu in the science fiction television series Star Trek and his strong online presence in advocacy of LGBT rights.
On June 2nd, 1999, Takei registered the domain for his personal website GeorgeTakei.com, which features biographical information, media galleries, a blog and a contact form.
Takei has often been associated with the catchphrase “Oh My,” which originated from Takei’s character in the Disney Channel sitcom Cory in the House according to the Straight Dope Forums. The phrase was often sampled on the Howard Stern radio show, typically in response to sexual innuendo. On January 18th, 2009, YouTuber Ralph Miller uploaded a video titled “Oh My ‘The George Takei Song’,” featuring the Howard Stern sample mixed with the song “Oh Yeah” by Yello (shown below, left). On April 27th, 2010, YouTuber bigtvshop uploaded a commercial for the television manufacturer Sharp, in which Takei says the phrase “Oh my” (shown below, right).
On November 1st, 2010, YouTuber significantjay uploaded a video titled “George Takei Calls Out Anti-Gay Arkansas School Board Member”,” in which Takei responded to the former Arkansas school board member Clint McCance by calling him a “douche bag” (shown below). Within two years, the video received more than 1.54 million views and 8,650 comments, as well as spawning a handful of parodies.
On May 19th, 2011, YouTuber allegiancebway uploaded a video titled “George Takei vs. Tennessee’s ’Don’t Say Gay’ Bill,” in which Takei offered the use of his last name to substitute for the word “gay.” Within 19 months, the video amassed over 1.2 million views and 9,600 comments.
Social Media Presence
Takei joined Twitter on January 13th, 2011 and went onto accumulate over 490,000 followers in less than two years. On March 23rd, the official Facebook page for George Takei was created, which received over 2.9 million likes within the next 22 months.
On November 17th, Takei created a Tumblr blog titled “Are you talking to Meme?”, which features posts containing photographs and image macros (shown below).
Facebook Ghostwriter Controversy
On June 6th, 2013, media analyst Jim Romenesko revealed in a blog post that his friend and columnist Rick Polito, whose humorous synopsis of Wizard of Oz from 1998 went viral on Reddit a few days prior (shown below, left), had been ghostwriting jokes on George Takei’s Facebook fan page for $10 each. That day, the story was picked up by Buzzfeed, where readers expressed their disappointment that Takei had not been doing the writing himself (shown below, right).
On June 7th, Takei admitted to Wired that his husband, Brad, and a team of interns sometimes help him out to assure there is steady content on the page, but claimed that all of the commentary provided is his own. On June 12th, Romenesko wrote a follow-up post revealing that Polito has apologized to Takei and his husband since his last blog post, acknowledging that Polito never had contact with Takei and had only sent in a few image macros for consideration. On June 13th, Takei addressed the controversy on his Facebook page with an image macro of his Star Trek character sipping tea and the caption reminding his fans not to believe everything they read online (shown below). Within ten hours of Takei’s update, the post received more than 37,500 likes and 4,500 shares.
Wheelchair Image Macro Controversy
On August 2nd, an image macro featuring a woman standing up from her wheelchair to reach a bottle of alcohol with the caption “There has been a miracle / in the alcohol isle” was posted on Takei’s Facebook and Twitter feeds (shown below). Within ten days, the Facebook post gained over 81,000 likes, 52,000 shares and 4,300 comments.
Many criticized the post in the comments section for perpetuating stereotypes about those with mobility issues and their ability to stand. The same day, Takei posted a status update on Facebook responding to the criticism and asked concerned fans to “take it down--a notch, please.” On August 11th, the news sites The Independent and The Huffington Post published articles about the controversy, noting that Takei’s response drew further criticism from detractors.
Takei is seen by many as a respected member of the gay rights community and is often lauded for his humorous interactions through social media. The Asteroid 7307 was named after Takei when it was discovered on April 13th, 1994. Takei was presented with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette by the Emperor of Japan in 2004 for his contributions to US-Japanese international relations. On June 7th, 2012, Takei received the LGBT Humanist Pride Award for gay rights activism. On November 18th, 2012, BuzzFeed published a post titled “11 Reasons George Takei is the Absolute Best,” which included several screenshots of several notable tweets by Takei (shown below).
Takei was born in Los Angeles, California to Japanese American parents on April 20th, 1937. In October of 2005, Takei revealed that he was in a committed homosexual relationship with partner Brad Altman for the past 18 years in an interview in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender magazine Frontiers. Takei announced that he would be marrying Altman on May 16th, 2008, becoming the first same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license in West Hollywood, California. The two were married on September 14th, 2008.
The Independent – "George Takei branded offensive and ignorant ":http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/george-takei-branded-offensive-and-ignorant-after-sharing-controversial-disabled-meme--not-that-he-cares-mind-you-9661754.html