IRS apologizes for ‘Star Trek’ training video
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said Friday that training videos parodying the television shows Star Trek and Gilligan’s Island, though “well-intentioned,” were a mistake, the Associated Press reported.
“The IRS recognizes and takes seriously our obligation to be good stewards of government resources and taxpayer dollars,” the agency said in a statement. “There is no mistaking that this video did not reflect the best stewardship of resources.”
The videos had come under criticism from Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-LA), who demanded copies of the videos, which the IRS said were produced for use in 2010 and 2011. Boustany, the leader of the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Oversight, demanded the agency hand over copies of the videos as well as a “full accounting” of the costs involved.
However, investigators later determined that the Gilligan’s Island-themed skit was “a legitimate training video.”
The agency said in its statement that it was implementing tighter standards for the use of its equipment to make sure future videos use public funding more efficiently “while ensuring a tone and theme appropriate for the nation’s tax system.”
According to CBS News, the video was produced in the agency’s in-house television studio in Maryland, and follows the “Starship Enterprise Y” responding to a distress call from the planet “NoTax,” although Star Trek fans might point out that while the set used in the skit is based off of the one from the original program, the uniforms were replicas of the ones used in Star Trek: The Next Generation, a disparity also addressed in the script.
“Sorry about the uniforms, captain,” a crew member said. “The dry cleaner gave me the wrong order.”
Watch the AP’s report on the IRS’ training film below.
And the entire video, as posted by CBS News on Friday, can be seen here.
[h/t The Mary Sue]