Star Trek: The Original Series star George Takei has responded to recent disparaging remarks from his Star Trek co-star William Shatner by… not responding. Well, mostly. On Monday, The Guardian ran a profile chronicling Takei's life and career, from his time as a child in a Japanese-American internment camp (which he chronicled in his graphic novel They Called Us Enemy) to his rise to fame via Star Trek, to his post-Star Trek life as an activist. Shatner, while promoting his new memoir Boldly Go, said in a recent interview that he blamed the tension that exists between him and the rest of the Enterprise crew cast on "bitter and embittered" co-stars.
However, Takei tells The Guardian that there was plenty of camaraderie among the members of Star Trek's original cast, but "none of us" got along with Shatner, who he alludes to as being a "prima donna." Beyond that, Takei refused to rise to what he sees as Shatner's bait.
"I know he came to London to promote his book and talked about me wanting publicity by using his name," Takei says. "So I decided I don't need his name to get publicity. I have much more substantial subject matter that I want to get publicity for, so I'm not going to refer to Bill in this interview at all. Although I just did. He's just a cantankerous old man and I'm going to leave him to his devices. I'm not going to play his game." Asked about Shatner as a younger man, Takei says, "He was self-involved. He enjoyed being the center of attention. He wanted everyone to kowtow to him."
In his interview, Shatner said, "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."
Takei had previously said Shatner was "unfit" and a "guinea pig" ahead of the Kirk actor's SpaceX spaceflight. "George has never stopped blackening my name," Shatner said. "These people are bitter and embittered. I have run out of patience with them. Why give credence to people consumed by envy and hate?"
Shatner continued on Twitter, tweeting, "I do find it sad that a handful of day players who were on set for maybe 20-30 days a year total spent 50+ years creating fantasies to get noticed in the press," Shatner tweeted. "Why did actors in other shows I was in not have the same issues? I stupidly allowed them to do it I guess. No more!"