The Force failed this one: A Star Wars fan says I'm sorry

Published On: Sep 06 2012 06:00:53 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 06 2012 06:14:48 PM EDT

A long time ago in a galaxy... well, right around South Florida actually... this local news website producer attempted a little humor on a slideshow.

It turned out to be a really bad idea, and for that I apologize. 

Although I’m an avid Star Wars fan, somehow I took a turn towards the dark side when assembling the web feature.  The slideshow I created titled "What the Force???" stirred up emotions that were both unexpected and unintended... kind of like what George Lucas must have dealt with when he attempted to assert that Greedo had shot first.

The slideshow was by no means an attempt to belittle or embarrass anyone. The intent was for it to be a fun and lighthearted look inside my experience at the Star Wars Celebration VI and the people who devote a great deal of their lives to the films we all love. Obviously, I missed the mark.

I, along with my co-workers heard from thousands of Star Wars fans, some from as far away as Ireland and Australia.  They lit up our phones, filled our Facebook page and inboxes.  We were called cyber bullies.  Most offended were those affiliated with the 501st, an organization that donates countless hours and raises millions of dollars for charity. 

I realized my mistake, albeit too late for many upset fans.  I took the slideshow off the site and my somewhat pithy apology on Facebook regrettably, came across as insincere to many. 

I meant no harm, neither did the website.  It was a weak attempt to be funny.  It fell flat and offended far too many people.  Really, I am sorry, and all those who work for local10.com are sorry too.  And to the members of the 501st, we’ll be sure to look for opportunities to showcase the good deeds you are doing in our community and communities all over the world.