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Now Takei's fandom is larger than the population of Puerto Rico.
Unimpeachable as it might seem, in June, the sanctity of his Facebook identity took a hit. Commentator Jim Romenesko published a story about a supposed ghostwriter for Takei who claimed to have earned $10 per joke to come up with the puns and quips with which Takei captions his cartoons, photos, and memes.
"That guy is not a true journalist," Takei says of Romenesko, who has reported for a variety of Midwestern newspapers and writes a popular media blog. "In [my new e-book] Oh Myyy!, I talk about it. On Howard Stern's show, I've said Brad helps me."
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Takei describes the process as a team of interns helping Brad and him sift through potential images for posting on the Facebook page. Then Takei writes comments for the images he selects when he returns home from his travels.
Examples: "She is not ameowsed" appears above an image of a cat despondently peering around her owner's computer screen. And a still of Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost is accompanied by Takei's asking whether overturning the Defense of Marriage Act would stand "a ghost of a chance" and his musing, "I wonder if Justice Clarence Thomas will remember that his marriage to his Caucasian wife was once illegal too."
Takei insists, "The content is mine authentically." When he receives comments or images from elsewhere, he says, he always credits the source with a caveat like "from a fan." Regarding the ghostwriter: "People, they'll make poverty stories so you want to help them out. So I gave him $10 a few times and he shared it with [Romenesko] and it went viral.
"That's the thing about social media," Takei adds. "It's a wonderful way to keep in touch, but it can also bite you back."