Star Trek's William Shatner Fires Back At George Takei And Others For Criticisms Over Past Behavior

Star Trek’s William Shatner is an icon, and plenty of fans believe the franchise wouldn’t be what it is today without him leading the ship as its star in the early days. But at the same time, he’s gained a lot of criticism over the years for how he's reportedly behaved as Trek’s star. George Takei and others have told stories of misdeeds that allegedly took place back during production the original series and the years that followed. It appears Shatner has had enough, however, as he fired back at the critics who continue to bring up the past. 

William Shatner was ready to talk feuds when he was interviewed by The Times Of London (opens in new tab). During the chat, Shatner was asked about his ongoing conflicts with George Takei and other past disputes with Star Trek actors in general. Shatner seemingly called out Takei for continuing to drum up past issues and claimed the disputes weren't actually legitimate: 

Sixty years after some incident, they are still on that track. Don’t you think that’s a little weird? It’s like a sickness. I began to understand that they were doing it for publicity.

The Star Trek actor claimed that the attacks on his character were more about using his name for publicity. To that point, many have evoked William Shatner's name while doing press over the years. For instance, many fans recently learned about Wil Wheaton’s purported unpleasant brush with Shatner while the Wesley Crusher actor was promoting a book. At the same time though, these appear to be the types of stories that Trek fans seem interested in. 

Of course, few have arguably spoken out about William Shatner as frequently or as loudly as George Takei, who famously played Hikaru Sulu. Takei and Shatner have traded barbs for decades and, just when it seems like one might extend an olive branch (like a birthday wish), one will make a critical comment about the other’s latest project or achievement. (Takei had a lot to say about Shatner's space flight.) Shatner took aim at Takei specifically and noted that the actor never really gave him a break:  

George [Takei] has never stopped blackening my name. These people are bitter and embittered. I have run out of patience with them. Why give credence to people consumed by envy and hate?

William Shatner is seemingly choosing to turn the other cheek, though the fact he’s more or less calling out George Takei in this latest quote honestly makes it feel as though their feud is far from over. It should be said that the bonds between these OG Trek alums become all the more precious as members of the cast continue to pass away. The death of Nichelle Nichols earlier this year was a stark reminder of that. Who knows what the future holds for Shatner and Takei yet if precedent is any indication, there could be more shots fired sometime in the future.

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Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.