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The Apple TV+ streaming series Ted Lasso is one of the most acclaimed shows airing right now, a celebrated comedy with multiple awards under its belt after its first season and even more nominations pending. It's a delightful, comforting exploration of human kindness, empathy, and friendship, among many other things, but it's not a show we usually cover at SYFY WIRE.
Because despite all of its wonderful qualities, Ted Lasso is a show about a soccer team with no science fiction or fantasy elements whatsoever...right?
Over the past week, the wider internet landscape, including the larger Lasso fandom, has become aware of a wild conspiracy theory that's actually been floating around Reddit for something like a year, since last spring when the show really started to gain momentum as people looked for something hopeful to watch during pandemic lockdowns. The theory is that actor Brett Goldstein's character Roy Kent, a gruff veteran footballer who's a team captain on the show in Season 1 and a commentator/coach in Season 2, is not a real person, but a character generated entirely in CGI.
No really, people are positing that Apple poured tons of money into making one of the characters on Ted Lasso — again, a live-action show about a soccer team doing mostly normal soccer team things in London, a very real city — a completely CGI being, as though he stepped right out of a FIFA game on your Playstation 5 or something.
To be fair, this is a conspiracy theory that seemingly started as good-natured joking on a Ted Lasso subreddit, but like so many things on the internet, it gained more and more steam as people found the original thread via Google. Things really took off last month when Twitter users began sharing screenshots of Reddit threads from people debating the Roy Kent CGI issue, which then led to everyone from The Verge to Wired covering the story.
With media attention suddenly focused on the issue, Goldstein — who writes for the show in addition to his Emmy-nominated performance as Roy Kent, and is also (apparently) a real human — decided it was time to put the matter to rest once and for all, and posted a video statement to his Twitter account refuting the accusations.
"I am a completely real, normal, human man who just happens to live in a VFX house and does normal, human, basic things like rendering and buffering and transferring data," Goldstein said.
Of course, if you actually go and watch the video...he maybe started more fires than he put out, depending on who you ask.
Ted Lasso is now streaming on Apple TV+. New episodes arrive on Fridays.