The ongoing feud between former Star Trek cast mates William Shatner and George Takei has become somewhat of an entertainment institution over the years – but now it seems the former captain of the USS Enterprise has grown tired of the entire affair.
The iconic Captain Kirk actor offered his latest thoughts on his continual head-butting with Takei during a recent interview with UK news outlet The Times given in promotion of his new book, Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder.
Led to reflect on his former helsman by his own recollection that Star Trek became so popular because people “loved the stories [and] loved the characters”, Shatner opined that, recently, “I began to understand that they were doing it for publicity.”
“Sixty years after some incident they are still on that track,” he told The Times’ Chief Dance Critic Debra Caine. “Don’t you think that’s a little weird?”
“It’s like a sickness,” Shatner continued. “George has never stopped blackening my name. These people are bitter and embittered.”
“I have run out of patience with them,” the actor-turned-one-time-space-traveler ultimately declared. “Why give credence to people consumed by envy and hate?”
As noted above, word of Shatner and Takei’s mutual dislike of one another has been public knowledge for years, but have notably heated up in the age of social media.
In 2015, Takei told the New York Times Magazine that “It’s not tension, it’s all coming from Bill. Whenever he needs a little publicity for a project, he pumps up the so-called controversy between us.”
Speaking to the origin of the feud, which according to his autobiography To The Stars first began during their time on the original Star Trek set, Takei explained, “It’s difficult working with someone who is not a team player.”
“The rest of the cast all understand what makes a scene work — it’s everybody contributing to it,” he added. “But Bill is a wonderful actor, and he knows it, and he likes to have the camera on him all the time.”
Asked if he could ever forgive Shatner, Takei declared, “I don’t need to forgive him. I’ve already invited him to the opening night of [Takei’s then-premiering musical] Allegiance.”
Shatner provided some insight into his side of the story in 2016, where upon he released a number of personal letters to be publicly auctioned.
“I had never really got to know him,” Shatner wrote in one such letter. “He would come in every so often during the week while we were shooting Star Trek. I was busy learning lines and dealing with my life, so I really can’t remember a meaningful conversation—I’m sure that would be my fault… my lack of attention.”
“Nevertheless, when we all wrapped that last day of shooting it was all meaningful for all of us—Star Trek was cancelled,” he said. “Until this moment in his apartment we had not spoken. Not so long after that very friendly time he began to say very mean things about me. Why?”
Last year, Takei mocked Shatner over his then-upcoming trip to space aboard the Jeff Bezos-owned Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket.
“He’s boldly going where other people have gone before,” the Sulu actor told the New York Post’s Page Six in October 2021.
“He’s a guinea pig, 90 years old and it’s important to find out what happens,” he further insulted Shatner. “So 90 years old is going to show a great deal more on the wear and tear on the human body, so he’ll be a good specimen to study.”
In turn, Shatner would counter by asking that his friends “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,” the actor added. “ I’m giving it back to him now by letting him spew his hatred for the world to see!”