HOLLYWOOD, CA - Actor Patrick Stewart, widely known for his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation, announced at a press conference today that he has founded an organization to be known as the Trek Anti-Defamation League. In the words of Stewart, the mission of the TADL will be to "attempt to repair some of the irreparable damage which involvement with the Star Trek franchise causes actors."
"You see, that's just the problem," Stewart told this reporter. "Look at the way you introduced me there! Why couldn't you say 'Well known for his love of Shakespeare' or 'Whom you may recognize from his role in Moby Dick'? You people make me sick."
After Mr. Stewart was advised by the organization's lawyer to withold further comment, a TADL spokesperson explained that Stewart's role as Captain Picard has had a detrimental effect on his ability to land "serious" film roles. "Mr. Stewart is just one of hundreds of victims of the Star Trek industry. When was the last time you saw Jennifer Lien in anything?"
"This isn't about my personal suffering," said Stewart. "This is about the greater good for Star Trek actors everywhere. We intend to seek out new jobs, and new franchises... to boldy go where no organization has gone before."
The TADL's main purpose will be to lobby the mainstream acting industry to hire actors who have previously worked on Star Trek. "Our current plan is a letter-writing campaign," continued the spokesperson, "as well as fundraisers to assist these persecuted actors. And if that doesn't work, we're going to start egging the houses of casting directors until they listen to us."
"Our focus right now is primarily on Star Trek," added Stewart, "but in time we hope to expand our campaign to assist other science fiction actors." Stewart admitted that he is currently the only member of the TADL, but is optimistic that will soon change. "Of course, Mark Hamill has been following me around begging to join, but that doesn't count."
"That's absurd," Hamill denied when confronted by this reporter. "My career is doing just fine. Now, for the fifth time, do you want fries with that?"
Stewart's X2 co-star Rebecca Romijn-Stamos admitted she was nervous when she was first told that Stewart would be playing the role of Professor Charles Xavier in X-Men. "I thought, 'What are they doing, hiring a Star Trek actor?'" said Ms. Romijn-Stamos, using air quotes for the word "actor." "But Patrick has made me aware of the plight of these people. I used to think making the jump from modelling to acting was hard... now I'm just glad I was accepted as a model-turned-actress."
Reaction among actors in the Star Trek community was mixed. "I don't see what Patrick is upset about," said Stewart's former co-star Gates McFadden. "X2 is one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer. When was the last time you saw my name in lights?"
"I don't understand this concern about finding jobs outside of Star Trek," added Marina Sirtis. "There's more than enough to go around. I've got my agent working on getting me a cameo on an episode of Enterprise next season." When reminded by this reporter that Enterprise was set 200 years earlier than the timeline in which her character appeared in TNG, Sirtis replied that "If the Borg and the Ferengi can get cameos then why can't I?"
"Some of us can get jobs outside of Star Trek, even if it is on Fox," said former Voyager actress Jeri Ryan, currently starring in the series Boston Public. "If they don't have the assets to land the roles, then they should just stop whining about it."
"It's about time someone took up our cause," said Ryan's former co-star Robert Duncan McNeill. "First it was just a guest spot for one episode... then I was starring in a series... after that, it was hopeless. I had to turn to directing -- and even then I couldn't get work outside of Star Trek!"
"It's a very sad state of affairs," lamented long-time Star Trek guest actor Jeffrey Combs. "I've tried and tried to get work elsewhere, but it never works and I always just end up coming back for more. I sunk so low, I was playing a little blue man! A little blue man!" This reporter ended the interview when Combs started blubbering like a little girl.
"This is a phenomenon I've been aware of for years," stated internet reviewer The Cynic. "I termed it the 'Star Trek Welfare Program,' but whatever you call it, it has to stop. I'm sick of seeing the same actors over and over again -- get a real acting job!"
This Just In's legal consultant, Jeice O. Garricker, said he doesn't believe the TADL will make headway in their cause. "The law is quite clear in this area -- Mr. Stewart and his colleagues are quite obviously the property of Star Trek and Star Trek fans and do not have a right to an acting career outside of science fiction."
We at This Just In will continue to follow the activities of the TADL. In the meantime, this reporter indends to become a member to take up the cause of persecuted science fiction reporters. Who's laughing now, New York Times?