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Old April 10 2013, 04:09 PM   #1
Cap'n Claus
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The Roddenberry Reputation

Over on the Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene thread, there's speculation that Gene Roddenberry is the unnamed executive who assaulted Grace Lee Whitney back during the filming of the series. This bothers me, and adds to the general tearing down of his rep that bugs me, especially to the extent is has gone.

I know Roddenberry had the sex rep, and cheated like crazy, but never had it seemed like he forced his way into women's pants. By accounts, he had a natural boyish charm, plus the Exec Producer status, to get women to spread on their own.

Then there's the credit thing. I know Roddenberry grabbed as much credit for everything Star Trek as he could and the Legend is totally overblown at the expense of so many others. There have also been comments that he didn't make Star Trek for any reason other than to get rich. I feel like we've gone from the extreme "Roddenberry is God" to "Roddenberry was a talentless, money grubbing hack rapist who created Star Trek to make a quick buck and did nothing other than come up with an idea that other people made great, he sucks for ripping off Forbidden Planet." Isn't that just a little too far in the other direction?

Yes, the guy had his casting couch and he was shameless about it. Yes, he sold out and cheated Sandy Courage when Trek wasn't making profits. Yes, Trek's greatness is the end product of multiple creative minds. All granted and accepted. However, he was a writer long before Trek, a successful one. He created Trek to, yes, make a living, but not to "get rich quick" as suggested in other threads. Everyone wanted to make a successful TV series, but there were other, more sure fire ways to do that than to create a mature message show in the "kiddie" vein of sci-fi, monsters and aliens. Sci-Fi on TV was always a risky proposition. He would have been better off creating a spy show or a western if he just wanted to make money. Instead, he had an idea to make something good, a forum for his beliefs (he tried with The Lieutenant and see how long that lasted). Writer-producers are people with ideas. Turns out, he wasn't the best "from the ground up" writer, but excelled at rewriting and, yes, he rewrote the majority of the scripts in the first two seasons. Nobody contested that. So, he put the final stamp on most everything when the series was great. Editing his own work he wasn't so good at that, but others? Apparently he amazing at it (Solow Justman & Nimoy all agree). Roddenberry even rewrote scenes under a tree on location during Shore Leave's filming. He worked like a demon on the series, at the expense of his health, to make it as good as possible. Again, this is not contested by the people who were there. And for a guy who always "grabbed credit," he rarely if ever put his name on a script he didn't originate, even if he rewrote most of it.

I'm all for giving everyone their due for Star Trek, but that includes Roddenberry. Nobody should get credit for another person's work, but it seems like he's not even getting credit for his own anymore. He gets more trash talk than Freddie Freiberger. I don't think this is at all fair.

As for guessing about who assaulted Grace Lee; if we don't know for sure, I'd rather not assume. Fan assumptions have a habit of growing into fan "fact." I'd hate to see Gene's name stuck on this in the future because of guesswork. Innocent until proven guilty and until GLW comes out and names him, Gene did NOT do it.

He was a human being with flaws and bad habits. But a rapist? Sorry, not without proof.

And that's all I've got to say about that.
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Last edited by Cap'n Claus; April 10 2013 at 05:06 PM.
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