Roasting Roddenberry

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by EnriqueH, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Commodore Commodore

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    Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me that it’s a bit trendy in here to roast Roddenberry.

    Being pretty familiar with his flaws, I sorta understand that those flaws keep us fans in check that he wasn’t a saint or anything.

    Are there people here who can’t stand him or something?
     
  2. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My opinion of Gene Roddenberry as a person has consistency lowered over the last couple of decades. I outlined most of my reasons here a couple years ago, so I'll just direct you to that.

    And since I wrote that piece, I've found out through a book excerpt linked to from here that Roddenberry told his first wife Eileen that he wanted a divorce at their daughter's wedding reception. I think most people would agree that that's a pretty shitty thing to do. (I can't find the thread in my searches, though, but I remember commenting in it here.)

    I also put together a few more reasons why he was very likely the assailant of Grace Lee Whitney that she described in her book.

    So yeah, I don't have much use for him as a human being, and I consider the hero worship of him from some quarters pretty repulsive. So it's a lot more than just "roasting." You roast the ones you love. I haven't loved Gene Roddenberry for a long, long time.
     
  3. Methuselah Flint

    Methuselah Flint Captain Captain

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    I've not really done the research, but we love the show, not necessarily the man behind it.
     
  4. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Commodore Commodore

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    There is no proof of the Whitney situation.
     
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  5. BillJ

    BillJ History's Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    Even subtracting the Whitney situation, Gene doesn't come across as a stellar human being.
     
  6. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Commodore Commodore

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    I never knew that he asked Eileen for a divorce at their daughter’s wedding. That does seem crappy.

    However, I did read that Eileen wasn’t faithful to Gene either, when Gene was overseas in his military days.

    Majel HAD to know what she was getting into with Gene. If she was always around the office, and Gene was scoring with guest stars, secretaries and even Nichelle Nichols...then I would think that wouldn’t have bothered Majel that much.

    Maybe it irked her, but decades after that, she was at his side when he died.

    I don’t know anything about Mabel’s personal beliefs, but being that it was the swinging 60s, it could be that they had a bit of “the swingers lifestyle”. Or at least tolerated Gene’s promiscuity. I’ve spoken to women in real life who have told me about their husbands/boyfriends “I don’t care what he does as long as he comes home at night.” So maybe Majel was like that.

    It does bother me that he took credit for people’s work. That has to suck.
     
  7. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There's been an awful lot of undeserved deification of Roddenberry over the years that really needs to be re-examined.
     
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  8. BillJ

    BillJ History's Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    Eileen's actions, whatever they were, don't excuse Gene's. That is just "whataboutism" designed to excuse Gene's behavior.

    Lots of women stay in bad situations. Because Majel stayed, doesn't excuse Gene's actions.

    His treatment of women was only one part of his personality, he also took credit from others to enrich himself and was an alcoholic and drug addict.

    Gene Roddenberry simply wasn't a good human being.
     
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  9. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    Bob Justman related an anecdote or two about his displeasure with GR’s extra-curricular activities.
     
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  10. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    That may be part of the problem: Back when all most fans know about Roddenberry came from his own publicity machine, a lot of people did start to think of him as some kind of a saint.

    His personal life is personal, but Roddenberry has been proven to be a completely unreliable source on many subjects. I have to wonder, if he was so great, why did he lie about so many things?
     
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  11. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Commodore Commodore

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    I think Gene was probably concerned with a) finances and b) his legacy, maybe.

    But in all the books and articles I’ve read about him, my guess is that it was money motivated more than anything.

    Star Trek was his one massive success.

    So he hogged it for every cent he could take.
     
  12. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Commodore Commodore

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    Majel showed no signs of resentment toward Gene or their life.

    She was at his side when he died.

    There’s nothing indicating he was abusive. And she continued to speak well of him and Star Trek. That’s a fact.

    Nichelle Nichols apparently wept when he died and never said anything bad about Gene.

    Susan Sackett never said anything bad about him either.

    How could he have been so horrendous a human being toward women if not one of them spoke out against him?

    It’s subjective and conjecture.

    The only thing that people spoke Against was his taking credit for things.
     
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  13. BillJ

    BillJ History's Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    You mean the one who peddles Star Trek wares on Facebook and Ebay? Wouldn't be good for business if she was badmouthing him.

    You're more than welcome to think whatever you like about the man.
     
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  14. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Commodore Commodore

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    Well, I just don’t like it when people judge his personal life without knowing all the facts.
     
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  15. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    We all have skeletons in our closets.
     
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  16. BillJ

    BillJ History's Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    I think we know enough of the facts to get a good gauge on the type of person Roddenberry was. He was an adulterer (no one can really dispute this), he was an alcoholic and drug addict (no one can really dispute this) and he took credit for others work (no one can really dispute this, just look at the creator credit for TNG).

    Everything we know doesn't add up to a flattering image.
     
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  17. Doctor Bombay

    Doctor Bombay Captain Premium Member

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    I wouldn't want anyone to judge me based on some stunts I pulled in my youth.

    That being said, given the scuttlebutt from multiple sources, GR is not a person I personally would want in my life.
     
  18. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    GR had a serious affliction that is prevalent in Los Angeles... being a Hollywood producer.
     
  19. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Commodore Commodore

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    That reminds me of a great quote from a play-turned-into-movie called Deathtrap with Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve.

    The quote goes:

    “Darling, though I might be capable of killing Clifford Anderson, I am not up to the criminal behavior of a Broadway producer.”
     
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  20. C57D

    C57D Commander Red Shirt

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    Maybe it is the irony that his self promotion as the "Great bird of the galaxy" (what ever that really means?) doesn't seem to match his sexism/greed/exessive self promotion etc, that finishes it for me.
    As with HP Lovecraft, I love the creation, not the creator.