Festivals

RenFest Founder Hiring “Dating Profile” Manager

Working for TRF Founder George Coulam should be carefully considered.
Working for TRF Founder George Coulam should be carefully considered.
In one of the creepier jobs postings on Indeed, Texas Renaissance Festival founder “King George” Coulam, 85, is looking to hire a data entry assistant. The data an applicant would be entering would include looking for dates for him.

“Seeking individual to assist retired gentleman manage his online dating profiles,” it reads. “Position is located near Magnolia TX.”

The job pays $16/hour, and would require a presence at Coulam’s mansion, Stargate. Remote work is not allowed.

That last stipulation should give anyone applying for the job pause. Coulam has a very long history of creepy behavior centered around the Texas Renaissance Festival. Two years ago, the Houston Press spoke to a former employee who says Coulam ordered her to place ads in local papers looking for women to marry. The ads promised a $10,000 wedding gift and an allowance of $35,000 annually to live with Coulam.

“I don’t know why this fell to me,” she said at the time. “Maybe because I was the new guy. I had to contact a doctor and a village elder [in Thailand] to translate for her family. The financial arrangement had already been made; it was around $35,000. He traveled to Thailand a lot and knew about kathoey (Thai trans women). I had to express to the doctor that it was important that this was not a surgically created vagina.”

Coulam has been in court at least twice over his behavior toward women handling his search for women. In 2020, Toni Ewton sued TRF over sexual harassment while she worked as a personal assistant to Coulam. According to her suit, the founder had her scroll through websites like sugardaddy.com, whatsyourprice.com, and sugarbabies.com. When she asked to no longer handle Coulam’s sex quests, he allegedly fired her. The case was settled out of court in 2021 for an undisclosed amount.

Before Ewton, Eileen Pena alleged Coulam made her search for women for him. Like Ewton, she said that she was fired when she told Coulam that she did not want to act as his procurer, according to documents. The case was mutually closed by both parties in 2019.

The ad implies that Coulam is at least being up front with what he wants an assistant to do for him these days. That said, at least three women have said that Coulam’s behavior made working for him a nightmare, two of them bad enough to go to court over it. The employee Houston Press spoke to in 2020 described Coulam giving her a tour of Stargate that included his four-poster bed carved with penises and depictions of bestiality. She also said he would ride around the grounds with her while wearing loose shorts that exposed his genitals.

Just some things to be aware of if you’re thinking about applying for the position.