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Globe and Mail caption writer becomes unlikely celebrity

Globe and Mail Page

Readers this week “discovered” a so-called rogue caption writer for the Globe and Mail. Catchy quips from this caption-crusader have been facinating fans for quite some time but his clever pot-shots directed at the ultra-wealthy seem to have struck a nerve.

It’s not uncommon for a newspaper’s website to include celebrity photo galleries. But as the Internet discovered Wednesday night, at Toronto’s Globe and Mail, someone has been getting creative with the captions.

Contrary to some online reports, this isn’t the rogue work of a disgruntled worker, writing snarky, rebellious captions right under his employers’ noses.

“They’ve been doing the celebrity photo galleries for the past six months or so,” Sasha Nagy, a video editor at the Globe and Mail, told the Daily Dot. The identity of the caption writer, or even whether the captions are written by one person or several, is something several people at the Globe and Mail were unwilling to discuss.

“I can say that his keeping his identity secret wasn’t planned; it just kind of evolved,” Nagy said.

Not even everyone at the Globe and Mail was in on the joke from the beginning.

“We definitely get a chuckle,” each time new captions are posted, he said about some of his coworkers. But when the captions became widely known, “Quite a few people internally thought we’d been hacked,” he said. “We had to share with everyone that this is normal.”

The mass interest in the captions came about with the most recent series of photos, which reference Occupy Wall Street and juxtapose its slogans with the opulence of current red-carpet celebrity photos.

Though the writer or writers is unwilling to come out publicly, he or she or they is still having fun with the concept, like setting up this Twitter account, and giving an interview to the Globe and Mail’s blog.

“What prompted your Occupy Wall Street edition of celeb photos?” asked Zosia Bielski of the Globe and Mail.

“My insatiable thirst for cheap laughs social justice!” the captioner replied.

Stephen Northfield, the newspaper’s deputy managing editor for digital, responded to our inquiries with a link to the blog post.

Kevin Collier

Kevin Collier

A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.