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Old April 10 2013, 08:07 PM   #13
Gary7
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Re: The Roddenberry Reputation

BillJ wrote: View Post
I went from the "Roddenberry is God" camp to the "Roddenberry was a creative TV producer who had some major flaws" camp after reading Inside Star Trek (and other material).

Lets face it, the man was a pretty poor human being by most standards. But I don't watch Trek because Roddenberry was a terrific human, I watch it because it is entertaining.
I never revered him to that extent, but certainly had great appreciation for what he conceived and brought to life. But like any multi-person endeavor, there are always interpersonal collisions and friction, usually all involved at fault to some degree, but also some people may be more guilty than others.

Roddenberry wanted to be successful and get rich, just like anybody else. When he managed to get a 2nd pilot done, which was practically unheard of at that time, and then got the series going with great results, he figured he was in the running to the next level of financial enjoyment. But it didn't turn out that way. I think part of the problem was his inability to see a balance in steadfastness and compromise. He wanted things his way as much as possible, to the point of rubbing other people the wrong way.

He certainly created a terrific story idea (heavily influenced by others as we well know) and was fortunate enough to assemble the right creative minds to help bring it to life. I'll bet anything that it wasn't until he saw how other people responded to him, like with the designs and models that Matt Jefferies produced, where he began to realize the potential. It probably fired up his passion for doing Star Trek and pushed him to excel.

It's clear he had very high hopes of Star Trek becoming a major success as after the 1st season, and when it faltered at the end of the 2nd season, he was probably very dejected about it. And then, desperate to make the most of what had been created, he sought to milk as much money as he could from the aftermath (i.e. selling merchandise). That certainly contributed to the negative perceptions he garnered.

Often what we create can in turn change us, pushing us in a different direction than we'd originally planned and hopefully even make us better for it. From most of what I've read, it seems like Roddenberry did change for the better over time. The Next Generation cast seemed to have higher regard for him than most.

BillJ wrote: View Post
Caje wrote: View Post
...but I don't think he should be vilified when no one knows the exact facts of the matter.
If it was only one person making the accusations, I would tend to agree. But pretty much everyone who was associated with Roddenberry didn't think much of his personal ethics.
Yeah, there has been plenty of material over the years that vilified Roddenberry. But some people probably took advantage of that as well. I really don't think Whitney was sexually coerced or even raped. More than likely she was seduced. She had long been struggling with a low self-esteem from her background. Despite that amazing boost she got by getting into entertainment and being perceived as a bombshell, she was still very fragile. Roddenberry may have exploited that, because Whitney was very attractive and also desperate to make the most of her opportunities. Who knows, she may have flirted with Gene and then it became difficult to resist him for fear of losing favor.
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