When is self not listed as self in credits?

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Ok I thought I understand this, but apparently I don't.

Below are the credits from two episodes (that just happen to be consecutive).
In both episodes, the people on the show's credits are shown by their name with "special appearance by".

On imdb, one ep's credits them with "himself" while in the other ep credits people playing themselves by their names.

I've read the help stuff on self, and if I understand it, I think self is supposed to be for documentaries, talk shows, and award shows.

So should Reggie Jackson be listed as Reggie Jackson and those other blasted Yankees (Go O's) rather than himself, or should the other episode have all the people listed as him/her-selves?












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MikeTheWhistle

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Posted 4 months ago

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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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This is from the help topics.

Self Appearances

For 'self' type appearances, 'Himself' or 'Herself' should be used as the character name ('Themselves' for groups). This should, where appropriate, be followed by a hyphen and a short description of their role in the title (rather than role in 'life'). For example:

  • Himself - Judge
  • Himself - Panelist
  • Herself - CEO Acme Corp.
  • Herself - NASA Scientist
  • Himself - Comedian
  • Herself - Guitarist
If you take it literally, nowhere does it mention that someone on a show be listed in the character field by their own name if they are portraying his or herself.

So if you follow the rules, the first example is correct and the second is incorrect.
(Edited)
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MikeTheWhistle

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this made me go back and read it again. ugh Then I saw this:
"Where someone is billed in the credits as Himself/Herself in a fictional piece and are playing a scripted, fictional version of themselves, we use the performer's name as the character name to avoid moving the credit to the 'Self' category even if the credits say Himself/Herself."

I think the first one should be correct also. For those that didn't watch these, in both ep's they are playing themselves. But reading the section again, this sentence I just put above about playing a scripted, fictional version of themselves I think makes it confusing.
Every time I read the sentence, I change how I think it should be. In both ep's, which are fictional pieces, they are playing themselves, but what the heck does fictional version of themselves mean.

Clear as mud.
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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Flip a coin time!
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Peter, Champion

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The rule refers to "Himself/Herself" being displayed on screen as a character name, but it should probably apply also when there is no character name on screen.

You say they are "playing themselves". Would you say they are acting, do they have lines, is it a fictional setting?
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MikeTheWhistle

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in case you didn't see I did answer your question below cuz I'm really wanting to understand what's correct.
To expand on the info below, yes they all had lines. In the example with Reggie Jackson, why couldn't it be an Oriole like Storm Davis or Jim Palmer or Cal Ripken, George Jefferson is at a Yankees-Mets game and drops a home run ball hit by Reggie. Louise then goes to the stadium the next night, interacts with a bunch of the players in the locker room (good laughs) and then meets Reggie and convinces him to come home with her to cheer George up who has been lampooned in the media for dropping Reggie's ball.

In the other ep, not all the actors are referred to by their real names, but it is implied they are themselves because Louise interacts with all of them "not realizing" they are famous as she scours the casino to find someone famous. Again some good laughs.
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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In fictionalized media where "Himself" meets interacting with fictional characters it goes as name in the role field rather then "Himself", although as that rule was unclear for years I'm still encountering cases of such cameos and roles incorrectly sorted in "Himself" and correct those. 

The most recent example: "Baywatch" episode Bash at the Beach (1996). Hulk Hogan was listed as Himself, despite perhaps the only exception that fictional media might have are archive footage appearances and Hosts in old anthology series. Although even that is questionable if you ask me: in most instances Alfred Hitchcock is clearly fictionalized in "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", including portraying multiple characters.   
(Edited)
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MikeTheWhistle

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Have to say this has my head spinning with confusion, but I know there is some inconsistency and would like to understand.

The shows were The Jeffersons 11.9 and 11.10. The shows are obviously a fictitious sit-com.  In both the "real" actors were playing themselves interacting with the fictional Jeffersons.

In the one with the Yankees baseball players, The Jeffersons interacted with them actually being Yankees baseball players playing the Mets and then Reggie Jackson going to the Jeffersons' apt.

In the other, it's set in an Atlantic City casino with Louise looking for stars. She, and other characters, interact with them being themselves as stars. In particular Phyllis Diller.

So if I try and combine everything, now it seems they should be credited in imdb with their name and not himself?????

That's my problem, I keep going back and forth trying to understand it. But it's now clear to me why I've seen so many differences over time.

Does this help to clarify at all as to which it should be?



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Jeorj Euler

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I don't understand what seems to be the confusion. Yes, Reggie Jackson's character name should be "Reggie Jackson" instead of "Himself", in this case. This is to show that he is appearing as a character in a story or account rather than as person in a documentary or concert.
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MikeTheWhistle

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First, sorry if what confuses me seems like it's stupid, but I'd rather say I don't understand something if I don't then say I do when I don't.

Your reply made me go back and re-read everything. This is what causes me a little confusion.
"Where someone is billed in the credits as Himself/Herself in a fictional piece and are playing a scripted, fictional version of themselves, we use the performer's name as the character name to avoid moving the credit to the 'Self' category even if the credits say Himself/Herself."

The phrase "fictional version of themselves" is what is less than clear to me.  I'm not sure why, but this phrase isn't 100% clear because of the two uses of fictional. By using it, it leaves open the possibility of someone playing a scripted non-fictional version of themselves in a fictional piece although I must confess I don't know that that might be. If I did, then I think it would be clear.

So while I think I basically understand, I truly don't fully understand it. If there is an example of what I'm confused about, please give it to me (I'm referring to an example of where someone is in a fictional piece playing a scripted non-fictional version of themselves).

Hope that helps.
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Mike: Please don't assume that just because someone is listed on IMDb as playing "Himself" or "Herself" in a fiction program, that that is correct and in accordance with IMDb policy.

For example, there is a famous episode of "All in the Family" titled "Sammy's Visit" (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0509913/). In the plot of the episode, Sammy Davis Jr. leaves his briefcase in Archie Bunker's cab, then comes to the Bunker house to pick it up. During Davis's visit, several neighbors come by in hopes of seeing him because he is a celebrity.

The closing credits of the episode said, "Sammy Davis, Jr. as Himself". However, by IMDb standards, Davis was playing a scripted, fictional version of himself, as in the following policy:
Where someone is billed in the credits as Himself/Herself in a fictional piece and are playing a scripted, fictional version of themselves, we use the performer's name as the character name to avoid moving the credit to the 'Self' category even if the credits say Himself/Herself.
We know Davis was playing a scripted, fictional version of himself, because Sammy Davis Jr. never took a cab ride with Archie Bunker driving -- Archie Bunker is a fictional character -- nor did he ever go to the Bunker home and meet Archie, Edith, Gloria, Mike, and Lionel Jefferson -- none of them are real people. All of that was part of the script of the fictional story.

That said, for some reason IMDb still lists Davis as playing "Himself", instead of playing "Sammy Davis Jr." which is how he should be listed according to the IMDb policy.

So that's an example of someone playing a "scripted, fictional version of themselves." I don't know what a "scripted, non-fictional version of themselves" would be; I don't think the writer of the policy contemplated that.
(Edited)
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Will, Official Rep

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I've fixed this credit now based on your comments, although the policy exists unfortunately people submit the credit as himself/herself although the person is clearly reading reading lines and should be listed with their own character name. If you notice any more of these please submit an update for your staff to review.
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Just as a footnote, the quoted rule was only added about six years ago, so any credits added before that were supposed to follow the screen credits.
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Jeorj Euler

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Right. I meant to bring that up as an explanation for inconsistencies.
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MikeTheWhistle

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I actually just saw that ep the other day and really enjoyed it as well as when he was on the Jeffersons.
I've been racking my brain to come up with an example, and I don't think I have one, but might have something close. First though it's just the way that sentence is constructed that bothers me because it could have been so much simpler and clearer, and the extra words would seem to be intentional.

In another movie I just watched, The Sands of Iwo Jima, three of the actual flag raisers were in the film. Now the film is fictional with respect to Wayne, but the three flag raisers were in it to do just what they had done and thereby a non-fiction part in a fiction piece.

So it's not a perfect example and my mind will keep toiling, but if the sentence would have just been worded something along the lines of "Where someone is billed as self in a fictional piece even if playing themselves, we use ...." 

In short, if it's a fiction, when would it be, if ever, appropriate to list someone as self? If it wouldn't, then there are too many words in the sentence.

extra: To contrast my Sands of Iwo Jima, To Hell and Back is about Audie Murphy played by Audie Murphy, and it's his story but there are parts that are fictionalized to tell the story. So in that case I see how that sentence can be applied. But that then takes me back to The Sands, where other than who they get the flag from, the 3 do what they actually did. See how this can make your brain hurt.
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MikeTheWhistle

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I've seen a couple commercials for the show but never watched it.  Really interesting that this was rejected because it would definitely seem to fit the put the person's name.

Below is what I was talking about with all in the family which if following the guide would mean he should be listed as self - but I wouldn't take it that literally as I like consistency and the reason for listing people's names as the guide has to me makes sense. But it's really frustrating to try and fix stuff only to get rejected. but i've had a lot of rejections the past few days. lol

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Jeorj Euler

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The bot probably declined it.
:P
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MAthePA

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Well, next time a problem's comment will be:
"Hi, bot! Don't be a bott, don't wait for bote. Just approve it."
:-P
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MikeTheWhistle

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I just wish I could figure out what makes the bot happy. Things I think it would be ok with, it hangs, while things I figure I'll need help with fly just by. It's funny. I will say that I've had two submissions in the past couple weeks where right after I did'em realized I was on the wrong image or whatever so I was glad for the delay so I could get help. I do wish, or hope, the bot knows I'm only trying to help accuracy and clean pics.
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MAthePA

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BTW, try speak to bots their own language ;-))
Do you remember the facebook case, when they let their bots having great AI to speak free to each other?! And then closed the project because bots implemented their own language that was not understood for human beings 8)))
(Edited)