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  • Writer's pictureZack Sharf, Variety

Shatner says bitter ‘Star Trek’ co-stars slam him for ‘publicity’

Mario Tama/Getty Images/TNS Blue Origins vice president of mission and flight operations Audrey Powers (left) looks on as Star Trek actor William Shatner waves during a media availability on the landing pad of Blue Origin’s New Shepard after they flew into space on Oct. 13, 2021, near Van Horn, Texas.

William Shatner spoke out against his “Star Trek” co-stars in a recent interview with The Times UK while promoting his book, “Boldly Go, Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder.”

Several “Star Trek” actors have criticized Shatner over the years, with the late Uhura actor Nichelle Nichols once telling Shatner the cast found him “cold and arrogant.” Shatner writes in the book that he was “horrified to learn this, ashamed that I hadn’t realized it.”

George Takei, who starred opposite Shatner’s Captain Kirk as Sulu, has criticized Shatner for decades, most recently by publicly mocking Shatner’s space flight on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin last year. “He’s boldly going where other people have gone before,” Takei told Page Six.

“He’s a guinea pig...he’s not the fittest specimen of 90 years old, so he’ll be a specimen that’s unfit!”

“I began to understand that they were doing it for publicity,” Shatner told The Times UK about his co-stars slamming him. “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. George 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?”

While Shatner is no longer close with Takei, he said the “Star Trek” television series continues to endure due to the healthy friendships and stories at its center.

“Here is a group of people you get to love going on an adventure that, although unusual, harkens back to things that happen on Earth,” Shatner said. “The futurist stories we told were really human stories with a twist. People loved the stories, they loved the characters.

Shatner said he does not watch “Star Trek” episodes regularly, but he does love to participate in fan events for the show. He added, “I enjoy the conventions when I am on stage fielding questions. I have acquired a way of doing this hour so that it becomes a kind of mutual distribution of information. The fans are interesting, it’s part of the reason why I go.”

“Boldly Go, Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder” is now available for purchase.

(C) 2022 Variety Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

About the Book: From Simon and Schuster: “The beloved star of Star Trek, recent space traveler, and living legend William Shatner reflects on the interconnectivity of all things, our fragile bond with nature, and the joy that comes from exploration in this inspiring, revelatory, and exhilarating collection of essays.

“Long before Gene Roddenberry put him on a starship to explore the galaxy, long before he actually did venture to space, William Shatner was gripped by his own quest for knowledge and meaning. Though his eventful life has been nothing short of extraordinary, Shatner is still never so thrilled as when he experiences something that inspires him to simply say, “Wow.”

“Within these affecting, entertaining, and informative essays, he demonstrates that astonishing possibilities and true wonder are all around us. By revealing stories of his life—some delightful, others tragic—Shatner reflects on what he has learned along the way to his ninth decade and how important it is to apply the joy of exploration to our own lives. Insightful, irreverent and with his signature wit and dramatic flair, Boldly Go is an unputdownable celebration of all that our miraculous universe holds for us.”


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