What does it mean in the 21st century when you’re a passenger on a historic spaceflight? It means you gain a singular perspective. It means you’re center stage in the public eye.
And it apparently means you start very publicly trading insults with a former coworker. At least, that’s what happens if you’re William Shatner who is now responding to insults hurled at him from his former Star Trek: The Original Series co-star George Takei.
Apparently no longer willing to suffer George Takei’s barbs in silence, William Shatner took to twitter on Friday and urged his followers to leave Takei alone, but of course that was only the lead-in for the joke. Shatner continued that Takei’s insults toward Shatner were the only time his former co-star got press. You can see the tweet below.
Don’t hate George. The only time he gets press is when he talks bad about me. He claims 50+ years ago I took away a camera angle that denied him 30 more seconds of prime time TV. 🤷🏼♂️ I’m giving it back to him now by letting him spew his hatred for the world to see!🤣 Bill the 🐷— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) October 16, 2021
The tweet was William Shatner’s response to Takei’s comments last week after the former Captain Kirk actor returned from his New Shepard flight. Takei called his former Star Trek co-star a “guinea pig” and took aim at Shatner’s physique, saying, “He’ll be a good specimen to study.
Although he’s not the fittest specimen of 90 years old, so he’ll be a specimen that’s unfit!” Shatner’s immediate response was say he felt pity for Takei, while suggesting he suffered from a “psychosis” that allowed him to only experiences joy when he attacked Shatner.
As remembered by Distractify, the bad blood between William Shatner and George Takei goes back all the way to their work on Star Trek. Takei says Shatner treated him poorly on the set of the iconic show, including just outright ignoring him.
He also said that originally his character Hikaru Sulu was supposed to command his own starship in 1989’s Star Trek V — as he would go on to do in the 1991 follow-up Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country — but that Shatner, who directed the fifth Trek film, changed the script so that Sulu was no longer a captain.
Defending himself against fans, William Shatner has copped to ignoring Takei, and has also said he simply never got to know his co-star. In one tweet, he called Takei a “day player” on the set of Star Trek, pointing out the actor was in “less than 2/3s of the episodes.”
Shatner uses this to not only explain why he never got to know Takei, but to try to throw doubt on his accusations, claiming Takei didn’t have enough time on set for it all to be true.
Of course, it should be noted that Takei wasn’t the only Star Trek actor who had problems with William Shatner. Most of the principal crew of the original series would express problems with Shatner over the years, including the late Leonard Nimoy, who Shatner said stopped talking to him a few years before his death.
It isn’t even just the Star Trek actors who worked with William Shatner who have nightmare stories about him. In March, Wil Wheaton — who played the young Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation — posted an excerpt from his 2003 book Dancing Barefoot in which he tells a story about meeting Shatner for the first time. According to Wheaton, Shatner refused to shake his hand and walked away after saying, “Well, I’d never let a kid come onto my bridge.”