So a few days ago James Cameron was caught telling a dude who was almost certainly an semi-pro autograph seeker and one of TMZ’s soulless video providers to fuck off. Did Cameron know the hack was a hack, and that’s why he told him to fuck off? We don’t know. Did the hack actually pleasantly ask Cameron for an autograph only to receive that brusque reply? Still don’t know. Was the tape edited so the hack looked like an innocent fan and Cameron appeared to be a ginormous douche? Yeah, probably, but we don’t know for sure.
The point is that even if Cameron was provoked in the non-seen footage, he doesn’t gain anything by being rude to somebody when a video is rolling, no matter what. The tape gets around (I was part of the problem, unfortunately) and he looks like an asshole, period. So what can James Cameron do to avoid this in the future? Believe or not, Back to the Future‘ s Tom Wilson — a.k.a. Biff Tannen — has the answer:
Make up a happy song regarding all the stupid shit your fans ask you and ask you to do. You might still be telling them to fuck off, but if you’re playing a jaunty tune on your six-string, there’s no amount of editing TMZ can do to make you look bad.
Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.