Syndicated Political Columnist and Host of POINT/COUNTERPOINTHello Earthlings.
Android CAI/7 probably won't mind my stepping in on his turf for this little tidbit about the world of Earthling entertainment.
Specifically the recent firing of Grey's Anatomy actor Isaiah Washington over an incident where he outed co-star T.R. Knight by calling him a 'f*ggot' while fighting with other co-star Patrick Dempsey.
Now some folks are decrying this as yet another victimization of someone by the PC Thought Gestapo but I disagree.
If I was the network or the show's producers I would have fired him a hell of a lot sooner.
You see, and I don't tell this little everyone this about myself, I used to be an actor.
Back in what you Earthlings call the 1980s little Tekky Mechanoid, as I was called, played Geo, the wise-cracking son of Doctor Cliff Hexidecimal played by cyborg comedy legend Chip Circuits in the sitcom Family Units. I even had a catchphrase for whenever my character was in trouble, it was "Oh zaphod!" (Because I came up with that line during an improv session I got royalties from the merchandising which was freaking sweet.)
Now Chip Circuits was a true professional. His work ethic was forged playing the smoky clubs along Orion's Belt. He never took himself too seriously, knew his lines, hit his marks, and served as a mentor and friend to all around him. He was a joy to work with.
However, not everyone was that great.
The character of my older sister (Cindy Hexidecimal) was played by Terra Bytes, and she was a nightmare. She fancied herself a great dramatic actress who didn't have to bothered with trivialities like learning her lines, attending rehearsals, or even showing up on time. And if anyone dared call her on it, she would freak, hurling insults, and occasionally furniture, at everyone on set.
We began to dread working with her. What was supposed to be fun became stressful and nasty. Our work suffered, and our ratings suffered.
The last straw for me was when she demanded that the writers take my catchphrase and give it to her. That catchphrase was my gravy, I created it, and she wanted to take it and ruin it like she ruined everything just for the sake of ruining something for someone else.
Then her contract came up for renewal at the end of the third season.
Suddenly her character went to college, even though she was only fifteen, and she was never seen or mentioned again.
It was like a black cloud was lifted off the studio. We could laugh again, and our audience started to laugh again as well. We were making TV, and that's supposed to be fun, and anyone who doesn't realize that, shouldn't be working in show biz.
Anyway, long story short, I paid my way through college thanks to that show, and I'm still getting royalties from the reruns and "Oh zaphod" merchandise. Chip Circuits is now rich enough to perform when and where he feels like it, and still knocks them dead like a true pro.
As for Terra Bytes. Well, she still in show-biz, sort of. Last I heard she was in a production of Bye Bye Birdie at the Berok Noor Medium Security Prison where she's doing 5 to 10 for armed robbery, but was fired and sent to solitary for shivving a co-star for having more lines than her.
So the lesson of this story is, when you have a hit TV show. Do your job, enjoy the ride, and be a professional. Showbiz is a fickle bitch-goddess and the only way to survive her often cruel whims is to be a professional, and no one wants an unprofessional bully on the set because it can only serve to hurt the work being done.
Washington acted unprofessionally and overtly hostile to his co-workers and you can't have that on set. He got himself fired.
That's all folks. Hope you learned something from this little tale. So long for now, and stay on point.