I entered "Brent Spiner dick" into Google because I wanted to know if other people had similar experiences. This page is the first link. I wouldn't say that he was a full-on dick to me, but based on my interaction with him I assumed that people had much worse experiences. I was correct.
So yesterday I met the dude for the first time.
He signed my poster. I requested that he write, "Data" under his name.
Him: "Who is that?"
I knew that he was joking, and I *am* a comic; I've done crowd work and improv with other comics, but in those cases I'm usually working with people who I know or who I don't really care about. In those cases it's easy. In this case I was talking to an actor who I don't know yet respect. Awkward.
Me: "Uuuh... I dunno."
Him (looking at the signatures of other people who signed it): "Look, Gates didn't include her character's name. Marina didn't do it. (I forgot to request it from them.) Robert (Picardo)... (he stopped because Picardo actually did). Why me?"
"Alright. So you're saying that it just disrupts the flow of the piece?"
"Yeah, and I mean... YOU know who I am, right?"
"Yes, the poster is for me, and I know who you are."
"Right... so... why bother? You know who I am."
"Alright. You've convinced me-- no more character names on anything ever!"
Then he turned toward Jon Frakes who was sitting to his right and signing posters for someone. He coughed loudly.
Frakes: "*I* know who you are.... and I respect your humility, talent, and professionalism."
Spiner: "THANK YOU."
As a comic, I was tempted to say, "Excuse me, guys... But 'humility' or 'humble' are the last words I would use if I were describing that exchange" but I didn't want a slightly uncomfortable situation to turn into a mildly uncomfortable situation.
As a guy who majored in psychology I was also tempted to say somewhere in the middle of Spiner's indignant statements, "I get it, dude. You *hate* that character."
I'm sure that Trekies now want to cite numerous quotations of Spiner saying that Data was the best character he has ever played or whatever, but I don't care about any of that nonsense. It's a definite vibe that I picked up from him in person and from reading these comments.