Updated Friday, 5:41 p.m.: A reader pointed out that part of reason Takei’s pro-Quinn post has such low engagement is because of a custom setting that made it available only to people in the New York area. Takei’s posts are typically set to “public.”
Criticism of Takei continued on Friday, with one user posting an open letter that begins “Shame on you, George!” The user wrote that Quinn “has thrown the LGBTQ community under the bus time and again.”
George Takei may need Scotty to beam him out of this one.
The “Star Trek” actor turned Facebook luminary experienced a rare blowback from his loyal fans on Wednesday after he posted a status update endorsing City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for mayor of New York City.
“Help Chris Quinn boldly go where no woman has gone before -- the New York City Mayor’s Office,” Takei posted to his more than 4.5 million Facebook fans. The post included a link to a video endorsement on QuinnForNewYork.com.
The message hasn’t exactly reached warp speed. Five hours later, it had attracted only 16 shares and 250 likes. Most Facebook users would be thrilled with such engagement, but Takei’s updates, which typically consist of humorous memes, often garner thousands of shares and tens of thousands of likes. It’s not uncommon for a Takei post to surpass 100,000 likes.
Most of the comments on the update were negative, with many users simply saying they disagree with the choice to back Quinn.
“I look forward to the day NYC has a woman and or LGBT Mayor. I just don't want it to be Quinn,” one user commented.
“I usually agree with you George, but on this one I can’t,” commented another. “She is nothing more than Bloomberg Lite.”
Others criticized Takei, a resident of Los Angeles, for getting involved in New York City politics. Takei countered that he has an apartment near Carnegie Hall, a response that didn’t go over too well with those who would view a Quinn win as a tool of wealthy interests and an extension of the Bloomberg administration.
“Hahahaha you have an apartment near Carnegie Hall? Well ain't that wonderful,” one user commented. “I guess you think having a place where you stay a couple weeks a year qualifies you offer opinions about our city, where some of us have lived our whole lives. Guess what? You are the problem. You super-rich and your apartments that you keep here just so you can come and shop a couple times a year, squeezing out the people who are born and bred of this city.”
Quinn, who would be the city’s first woman and first LGBT mayor, was an early frontrunner in the race, but she has since lost considerable ground to fellow Democrat Bill de Blasio. She has also been the center of fierce attack campaigns from animal-rights groups that disagree with her past support of the carriage-horse industry.
Takei, who played the intrepid helmsman Hikaru Sulu on the original “Star Trek” series and its corresponding movie franchise, has since emerged as a prominent champion of LGBT rights. He is often cited as one of the most influential people on Facebook.
Christopher Zara covers media, culture, entertainment and the arts. He joined IBTimes in June 2012. From 2005 to 2012, he served as managing editor of Show Business, a trade...