I knew that George Takei was one of the first Trek alums to be openly critical of Shatner in print. I never read his memoir, but my understanding is he basically depicted him as something of a prima donna and egotist who wanted as many plots around Kirk and as many closeups of himself as possible and generally wasn’t a super nice guy. To my knowledge there was no absolute hatred there, and much of what he said was echoed by other cast members (particularly “Scotty” Doohan). Takei partook in a sometimes mean spirited roast of Shatner a year or so ago, but so did a lot of other people including Nichelle Nichols, Nimoy (via video), and many people he’d probably never met, and everyone knows the whole purpose of a roast is to be snarky and funny.
Okay, when Takei got married to his longtime male companion a few weeks ago (wedding pics) he didn’t invite Shatner. He said in one interview it was because he and his partner had 3,500 people on their contacts list and only 200 seats available. He invited Nichelle Nichols (who was his matron of honor), Walter Koenig (Chekhov) who’s evidently a good friend was his best man, Nimoy was invited. Doohan and Kelley are dead meaning they probably wouldn’t have come anyway. No idea if Doohan’s widow or Majel Roddenberry were invited.
While Takei has had a professional relationship with Shatner for more than 40 years, more off than on, by Shatner’s own admission they’ve never been particularly close friends and they almost never saw each other outside of a studio or Trek functions. So, Shatner seems a reasonable person to omit from a wedding guest list; I certainly have many co-workers past and present who I don’t hate or obsess over one way or the other but wouldn’t invite to my wedding (where seats are limited and reception guests are expensive after all).
So Shatner is now in the news for a video interview in which he rips Takei over a supposed “psychosis” (Shatner’s term) that makes him obsess on his hatred of Shatner. YouTube hereand transcript here. Selections from latter:
Okey doke. I’ll admit I’ve never been much of a Trekkie- not since I was about 12 anyway. All I know about the cast is what most people know. I know Takei is Japanese-American, was in an interrment camp during WW2, apparently wasn’t super fond of Shatner, is a long time jogging and health/anti-smoking activist, came out of the closet a few years back, does a lot of theater and Trek conventions, by the accounts of Trekkies I’ve known he’s a super nice guy and perhaps the most approachable of the original cast, and that he’s had a bit of a career comeback in recent years due to Howard Stern/coming-out/HEROES. Anything else I know about him is commentary on one of those things.
Is he really that obsessed with Shatner? Does he bash him at conventions or on Howard Stern? I was just curious why Shatner’s accusing him of obsession and who’s right.