A rumour from a disreputable source has been making the rounds for a couple of days now saying that Star Trek TV boss Alex Kurtzman has been fired. Ignore it.
Normally I’d ignore the rumour mill when it comes to a source like this, especially since I have absolutely no inside knowledge of the things going on inside of CBS, however in this case there seems to be so much misinformation and, dare I say Fake News, flying around that I felt the need to address it.
I’m not going to do you the disservice of linking to these fabricated stories citing only ‘a person with inside knowledge’ as the source of the ‘news’, it comes from a source that has been well-known for pushing outrageously and demonstrably fabricated stories including multiple cancellations of Star Trek Discovery, multiple firings of Alex Kurtzman, and a supposed delay and cancellation of the upcoming Star Trek Picard preceding the first days of shooting and following poor test screenings. All fabricated. All false.
Now I know you’re wondering, how can I say with any authority that the news is false without a source?
I’m glad you asked, it means you’re paying attention and thinking about it. If more people did that we wouldn’t have this whole fake news thing go begin with.
One Year in to a Five Year Mission
First any foremost, almost exactly a year ago Alex Kurtzman signed a 5-year deal with CBS, this was shortly after his last ‘firing’ was announced by our friends on the false rumour cycle, if you’re keeping track. The deal was for 5 Years, and $25 Million Dollars and I think we all know how many lawyers it takes to get that kind of agreement drafted and signed, nothing is left to chance when two high-powered sides come to this kind of agreement, Alex Kurtzman isn’t signing for anything less than a guaranteed payday, and CBS isn’t creating a monster they can’t just pay off, cut off and walk away from at any time.
But the false story claims:
"The source adds, “He has been replaced. He is refusing to lose the title but there are three other producer who are exercising his functions. He is not even allowed on set. He has been Orci’ed.– False report"
The claim that CBS would allow someone not to be terminated is laughable, we have already seen the removal of several show runners on Star Trek Discovery, yet we are asked to believe that Kurtzman is able to just refuse to leave? This is not how contracts work.
Besides, CBS is using Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout….
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Last month CBS announced an all new group designed to help grow the brand of Star Trek all around the globe on multiple mediums, called The Star Trek Global Franchise Group, it is headed by CBS Executive Veronica Hart who is, along with her entire team, operating out of Secret Hideout in Santa Monica, California. For those not in the know, Secret Hideout is Alex Kurtzman’s company.
"“As we expand the Trekverse, Veronica’s team and Secret Hideout are dedicated to broadening Star Trek’s brand reach by amplifying its core values globally: empowerment, inclusion, imagination, and above all, the exceptional storytelling that’s inspired generations of fans,”"
So we are to believe next that CBS would go to the trouble of signing a 5 year deal that they can somehow not get out of, creating a new franchise group and putting them in an office belonging to one of their contractors and then trying to fire him a month later….?
Not looking very good for the false story is it?
Secret Hideout is also responsible for one of CBS’s most popular series, Hawaii Five-O, which is headed into it’s 10th season and remains extremely popular. Just another reason CBS would have a hard time trying to quietly remove Alex Kurtzman. Hawaii Five-O wouldn’t preclude their terminating him by any means, but it would mean they would have to have a pretty good reason, and no reason to keep it quiet and contained to one unnamed source.
The false story also goes on to claim that a screening of Star Trek Picard was extremely unpopular with it’s test audience, the suggestion being unclearly stated that this may be a contributing factor for the false firing, but it makes the claim that 75-80% of the audience disliked the test episode, and all the rest who did like it were identified as JJ Abrams fans.
This is almost too ridiculous to even comment on, since for one CBS has nothing to do with Paramount and the JJ Abrams Star Trek franchise, and would therefore not have any reason to insert his name into any of their survey questions, this is akin to asking people in a pie eating contest how they feel about Beef Wellington, sure they both have crust, but they’re hardly in the same group.
Also test screenings don’t actually happen two months into filming and 6 months before airing a new series, at least not the kind that involve surveys and test audiences, if anyone has seen the no doubt unfinished first episodes of Star Trek Picard, they work for CBS, Secret Hideout or a contractor of one of them. Sure they might shoot an all new pilot and shop it around early in some cases, but this isn’t a pilot project, this is a full-blown, Green-Light series that didn’t have to prove its self through a test block of episodes.
I think we can all see the holes in this rumour, but just in case you’re not convinced, I’d like to share a fantastic video I came across in researching this piece, it’s from a YouTuber named Ketwolski who does some great coverage of Star Trek, and tackled this particular story with many of the things I was thinking myself….
As you can see he goes into depth on several of the things I’ve covered here, but while he’s not willing to come right out and say it, I will….
The rumours are false.
I have just one more piece of information on this matter to share, Alex Kurtzman, who if he were fired would not be able to do this, recently, as in after he was supposedly fired, gave an in-depth interview on many things star trek, including this:
I don’t know about you, but if I got fired I doubt I’d be doing an interview about how great the future looked for my former employer, and how much I wanted them to grow their demographic… Call me Crazy, but I wouldn’t wast my time.