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5 Underreported Jerks from Beloved Creators

They changed your life. Without her, you probably would have grown up differently. Yet that doesn’t mean they weren’t assholes, at least on occasion. Do you think Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel by saying please and thank you? That doesn’t mean that as a genius you are a genius (seriously, stop this shit right away), but it does does mean that geniuses (or at least successful creators) can sometimes act dubious – and by dubious we mean “You would totally TP your house if you were your neighbors.”


Gene Roddenberry screwed his composer out of half his royalties

We’re not going to jump with the gun when we say Gene Roddenbery̵

7;s pitch is about a Wagon train to the stars was a hit. The Star Trek Franchise has more movies and series that we’d like to count at this point, and it’s still going strong after nearly 60 years. However, Roddenberry had no way of knowing anything about it when he launched his show on the importance of primary colors in exploring space. It immediately becomes clear whether you’re looking at a single Star Trek Roddenberry didn’t know the future episode.

Paramount television
“There will always be hippies, right?”

“I have to get money somewhere,” this true visionary was quoted as saying. “I’m sure I won’t get it out of the profits from Star Trek.“Well, he might not have been right, but he wasn’t completely wrong either – Roddenberry was worth $ 500 million when he died (adjusted for inflation), but it’s hard to know how much of it legitimately came from Star Trek. At least a bit of it should have been rightly given to other people – people like Alexander Courage, the composer of the theme melody that opened each episode.

Paramount television
You hum it right like, don’t you?

Good ol ‘Gene wasn’t the only one who didn’t believe in the product he’d just sold Lucille Ball. No television composer wanted to make music for a silly show that was sure to fail – the only person willing to take the job was “Sandy” Courage, who mostly arranged music composed by other people. (Also that rustle Sound if the Companies zooms across the screen? That is courage that beats itself up). As the melody’s creator, Courage was entitled to collect royalties every time it was played – and while there is no record of his reaction when he learned he had to share those royalties with a lyricist, we suspect it did must be the lines of “What the hell are you talking to me about?” The piece was supposed to be instrumental, a word that according to the dictionary means “no goddamn lyrics anywhere”. It turned out that Gene Roddenberry had quickly scribbled a few trite verses into Courage’s score and added his own name to “I need to get money somewhere” before sending anything to the Copyright Office.

Library of Congress
If you listen carefully, you will hear this Ka-ching in this part of the score.

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