Harrison Walters is a character on a fictional TV show called #AmericanOdyssey played by an actor named Jake Robinson who is clearly anything but a real political activist. I am a real activist. My name is Harrison Tesoura Schultz. I am a real person with real problems which is why I became an activist and moreover why I created this blog. I only post on this blog when things are going really badly for me as an activist like they are right now, in this case due directly to NBC’s horrible and horribly offensive hit new show #AmericanOdyssey. Harrison Walters is not a real person or a real activist, but this fictional tv character ironically has a blog that resembles mine on the show’s website. http://www.nbc.com/american-odyssey/blog/harrisons-blog/schools-in-session
The way Harrison Walters looks and communicates is so identical to the way that I look and communicate that at a first glance my own mother mistook Jake Robinson’s promotional photos as Harrison Walters for photos of me at actual political actions. Jake Robinson himself agreed on twitter that the similarities were surreal.
Allesandra Stanley was certainly right when she wrote that “American Odyssey isn’t breaking new ground exactly” in her review of the #AmericanOdyssey for the New York Times on March 31, 2015 but she clearly had no idea just how right she was.
I was really shocked when friends started tweeting to me and posting photos on facebook of Jake Robinson’s character Harrison Walters on NBC’s hit new show #AmericanOdyssey. Seeing Jake Robinson’s photos as Harrison Walters was too much like looking at a distorted image of myself in a creepy side-show carnival funhouse mirror for me to suspect that this character’s similarities to me were in anyway just a coincidence. Harrison Walters not only has my first name he has my face as well. Jake Robinson tweeted about having to grow in his facial hair in order to prepare for the role, which he stated was unusual for him.
Much like myself, Robinson’s character also worked in Corporate America. Jake said that “Harrison [Walters] used to work in the corporate world but hated it, so now he’s a political activist” in an interview on April 12, 2015 KSITE TV.
I don’t have to wonder if Harrison Walters hated having to listen to his manager ask him “how are the dirty hippies doing at Occupy today? Did they get the piss smell out of Zuccotti yet?” as much as I did. I wonder if Jake Robinson cares let alone realizes that his first line in the first episode of his hit new show was not only a phrase I used to catch people’s attention in two separate interviews on Fox News, but that the real inspiration for that catch phrase which clearly caught the show’s creators was created by someone that I used to work with as opposed to someone that he currently works with?
Harrison Tesoura Schultz November 17th, 2011
I was never contacted by NBC nor consulted with about American Odyssey or the Harrison Walters character nor did I at all consent to NBC using my name, my likeness, carefully selected details of my biography and actual words that I have actually said during real interviews on real news broadcasts to make what I can only imagine must be untold millions for NBC, Peter Horton, Adam Armus, Kay Foster and Jake Robinson. I have been endlessly harassed out of and blacklisted from so many corporate opportunities for exercising my right of free speech through my participation in the Occupy movement that my partner Lorna and I are now facing homelessness; we will be evicted in a matter of weeks.
I’ve been hustling hard to find a steady job while I finish my PhD in sociology at the New School for Social Research. I’ve been supplementing my unsubsidized federal student debt by teaching capoeira lessons, seduction skills, and by making content for a dating-advice website called the Gotham Dating Club. Crowdfunding for our marijuana legalization efforts has ironically been a far more reliable way of keeping the power on in our home than the sporadic office temp work I can sometimes also find even if our profile as activists and the size of our audience isn’t let yet vast enough to keep my partner Lorna and I in our home. My landlord told me that he will have eviction notices ready for us this very Tuesday.
My family, unlike that of Harrison Walters, is incredibly proud of me for being an activist, they have always supported my activism far more than most other Occupiers ever have, because my family, unlike that of Harrison Walters, is not at all rich. I am the son of auto-workers from Detroit and Oneida American-Indians. Social struggle has been a matter of survival as opposed to a hobby for families such as mine but my family and indeed my actual character clearly aren’t mainstream enough to make it into the show, even if so many other carefully selected details were. My family itself is indeed the true source of inspiration for my personal brand of activism which is evidently so captivating by my own admittedly sinister designs that Peter Horton, Adam Armus, and Kay Foster can’t be blamed for being inspired by my activism even though these unrepentant, remorseless thieves must absolutely be blamed for exploiting and profiting not only from the sacrifices that my family has made for the sake of my career as an activist but from my family’s undeniable creative influences over myself and my public work which is the true source material for Horton, Armus, Foster and Robinson’s second rate-work of forgery which I can only imagine is raking them millions off of the very risks and sacrifices that my grandparents were forced – by my situation – to run through their retirement savings to support me by helping me keep a roof over my head when I couldn’t afford to do so myself. But where is their credit for creating and giving real life to the Harrison Walters character at their own expense?
People who don’t know me as well as my family does have been reaching out to congratulate me for being “immortalized” by NBC’s #AmericanOdyssey. It seems very difficult for most people to understand that NBC is stealing from me while I am in the process of being evicted from my home. The fact that mainstream America wants to be entertained and distracted by someone who looks like me, doing things that look like the things I actually do on their digital screens while they do their best to dumb themselves down, ignore my actual suffering and my actual values as a human being and my actual work as a real political activist which many fans of #AmericanOdyssey are ironically too deliberately foolish to realize would benefit themselves – profoundly disgusts me to say the very least.
Harrison Walters is not a real person and he doesn’t have other real people in his life, but thankfully I do. My lover, my partner in actual crime that we’d rather not have to commit, and my dark apprentice in all things anarchy Lorna Shannon will also be getting evicted from our home in a matter of weeks. She was blacklisted from her making her livelihood as a nanny for being involved in Occupy by all of the Upper East Side mommies who used to pay her rent before she got mixed up with me. Lorna also appears to have a doppelganger on American Odyssey, Harrison Walters’ girlfriend “Anna Stone” who is played by Tala Ashe.
Watching Jake Robinson and Tala Ashe act in order to look like they are feeling worse than they actually do in real life while Lorna and I have had to “act” way better than we actually feel just to get along and be taken seriously by other people who we are trying to work alongside and survive with. Watching Peter Facinelli tweet pictures of his food and his offers to cook for Jake Robinson for imitating and disrespecting my work on television while Lorna and I eat cold buttered noodles for the countless night in a row before they blocked me from their twitter accounts has been an exercise in suppressing the kinds of admittedly violent and completely unwanted fantasies that accompany gnawing hunger.
Anyone who studies at the New School for Social Research like I do learns that true evil has nothing to do with the sort of primitive, sadistic, malicious violence that TV shows like #AmericanOdyssey depict on the part of Muslim’s for example, and that true evil usually comes from a wholly unexceptional, all-too common form of deliberate negligence motivated by deliberate moral naivete that is every bit banal as Hannah Arendt’s observation of Eickmann’s claim that ‘he was just doing his job’ when he was on trial in Jerusalem.
I honestly can only but imagine how completely empty a person must be can do what Jake Robinson has so casually done to me, my family and my work toward the well being of my communities as a public figure. Why does Jake Robinson look, act and sound so much like I have in the past? How could he possibly NOT have come across and deeply studied footage of me if he claims to have over-researched the part, specifically because he wanted to be more than “The Occupy Wall Street Guy.” Who exactly is this “Occupy Wall Street Guy” that Jake Robinson claimed to have over-researched in so many interviews, especially if not me specifically?
And moreover Jake- do you actually think that you are somehow more of a person for literally playing an activist as opposed to actually acting like one? You Sir, are a joke. Who taught you how to be an artist? Who raised you and taught you how to be a human being? My family would have forced me to listen to them apologize to you and your family in front of the entire neighborhood, in front of as many people as could observe in order to prevent the shame of my actions from marring my family’s honor if this was the other way around. Where is yours? Where is your shame? How could you ever have imitated my face and my communication so well without ever becoming even the slightest bit curious as to who I actually am as a person? How can you mirror the cognitive dissonance, the pensiveness, the seriousness and the sense of purpose that I wear on my face everyday without ever wondering what I have gone through as a person? How can you imitate the inner energy and warmth that I can still somehow manage to generate into an often asymmetrical “Guy Fawkes Mask Smile” from behind my eyes and the corner of my lips so identically without wanting to know who I am, like so many other people have? It’s your loss that you shall never know.
You have proven to me that I am no one and nothing to you other than something to use and steal from. The way you have treated me has been infinitely more dehumanizing than the way my former hostile coworkers, various law enforcement agencies, Sean Hannity and the Occupiers who hate me for that specific interview have treated me combined – and at least they have the courage to face me, face-to-face, unlike you, like a real – even if despised – public figure would. A real activist would at least feel some regret about having capitalized as big as you have on the creativity I use to deal with my my suffering which you could clearly care less about in the first place.
It is positively violating for me to watch you imitate me even if you don’t happen to care, Jake Robinson, and you have proven to me that you do not. I personally do care. Many other people who care about me also want to know the details of this theft. You were so careless to leave your fingerprints all over the stolen evidence that there is no way you are smart enough to have planned this all alone. A colleague from OWS who met you said that you didn’t seem that bright let alone even that interested in politics or activism, and that the producers of the show were the one’s calling the shots like they usually do. Your crime is that of sheer stupidity more so than maliciousness even though you do merit the most punishment as a would-be role model.
I should be clear that my point isn’t as much that I consider Peter Horton, Adam Armus, Kay Foster and Jake Robinson’s appropriation of my identity itself as necessarily evil – let alone even in any way comparable to the evil of the Holocaust none-the-less just to be clear, as it is that the utterly astounding ability of these “people,” these incredibly successfully rich “artists” to not only ignore but congratulate and reward themselves for their deliberately misconstrued, stereotypical portrayal of the very real suffering which affects us all is utterly evil. It doesn’t merely invalidate and rob me of my rational identity – it robs you of your own by seducing you into believing that the problems of celebrity actors are somehow more real, exciting and dramatic than your own.
Peter Horton, Kay Foster and Jake Robinson tweet to each other as if they are somehow setting some sort of good moral example with regards to the show’s utterly ironic themes revolving around exposing “the truth” of a fictionalized military industrial complex even though they haven’t told their fans the truth about me or their entertainment industrial complex yet. #AmericanOdyssey is the perfect contemporary example of the Frankfurt School of critical sociology’s concept of how the culture industry uses mass distraction as a form of mass mental enslavement.
The problem, to be clear isn’t just with the creators of #AmericanOdyssey even though it is clearly their responsibility in this case. If watching the fictional scenes depicted in #AmericanOdyssey inspires you to feel more emotional stimulation than the struggles of real people who feel little other choice but to take incredibly risky and dramatic actions in vain, often hopeless attempts to make things better for the sake of the greater good just in order to make things a little better for ourselves – then you are a part of the problem. You are in fact committing evil by standing aside and standing silent in the face of evil.
Perhaps you know that you are a part of the Matrix and perhaps you don’t care. It’s fine if you couldn’t care less about the problems that are affecting my family, my community and even you yourself, and I couldn’t care less if you enjoy #AmericanOdyssey. I couldn’t care less if you agree with me that I think you are evil and I couldn’t care less if I ruin your good time by intruding upon your fantasy with a desperately needed reality check. Expect no more mercy from me than you would show me and my community in the ensuing symbolically violent struggle between those of us who are real people and those of us who are proud to be second, and indeed even third-rate sociopathic clones. This is no longer about democrats vs republicans, liberals vs conservatives, baby-boomers vs millennials, or even rich vs poor as much as the fight has now become between people who value and pay attention to the critical line between reality and fiction and those who do not. This is the point at which I am personally declaring self-defense given that I no longer have even an identity let alone a home, a career, a family of my own to make, let alone any sort of future what-so-ever to lose.
This blog is my official last line of defense for what will surely be a historically spectacular loss. This is the space that I will occupy in this latest final showdown between myself and my much more seemingly powerful enemy. Lorna, her attorney from MA and I cannot out litigate NBC. We have not yet been able to find a Lawyer from NY who is willing to go toe-to-toe with NBC on our behalf for anything less than a $25,000 retainer fee – as if we weren’t already skipping meals almost everyday and facing eviction in a matter of weeks. The fact of the matter is that NBC will most likely get away with their theft because we honestly can’t even afford to send cease and desist letters and evidence preservation letters to NBC without your help.
The only reason why we are picking this completely uphill, seemingly unwinnable fight with the “Monsanto of Media” as Lorna calls it, is because we know we have the truth on our side, because we know that we can absolutely out-storytell NBC, especially given that Peter Horton, Adam Armus, Kay Foster and Jake Robinson stole from me, my friends and my community in the first place. I, Harrison Tesoura Schultz am personally picking this fight because I know that I have a real partner, real friends, a real family, a real community and a real movement of really underappreciated, suffering people who all want to see us smash NBC every bit as much as they want to see us legalize cannabis and reform the monetary system which is why NBC cannot possibly win this fight no matter how much they will surely crush us.
Anyone who appreciates real human drama – the kind that truly inspiring fiction is based on – and anyone who wants to find out just how much damage one damaged person can still do to one of the most powerful media companies in the world with the power of the written word then you have found yourself a good blog to follow. I warn you that this is grown folks business however. My words are no more “innocent” than Peter Horton, Adam Armus Kay Foster and Jake Robinson are of stealing my identity and you will wind up thinking and perhaps even acting like a revolutionary more so than attempting to look like one if you stare too deeply into the abyss of my mind which has now officially traversed the lines between fiction and reality far too many times for even I to consider myself sane.
Any of you presumably precious few #AmericanOdyssey fans who still possess sufficient integrity to feel embarrassed, betrayed and mislead into utter social indecency by Peter Horton, Adam Armus, Kay Foster and not the least of which Jake Robinson should feel every bit as safe and welcome to share your thoughts on this blog post as you would and should with those that you love and trust.
Please support our impending legal guerrilla warfare with NBC if you are able to.
Please share this blog post and our story with everyone who will listen, whether you want to see us succeed or fail spectacularly.