Beloved Star Trek Actor Shocks Fans With Harsh Opinion And Unexpected Apology

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Many celebrities made apologies last year for their bad behavior, which is par for the course: it’s not uncommon for controversial celebs to say something shocking, get backlash online and offline, and issue a perfunctory apology.

However, one of the most beloved celebs of all time took us by surprise by apologizing for something he did decades ago…and something most of his fans agree needs no apology.


On the Shuttlepod Show, Quark actor Armin Shimerman told fellow Star Trek stars Dominic Keating and Connor Trinneer that he apologizes to fans because he “failed miserably” in his first Ferengi performance.

Long before Armin Shimerman played the Ferengi bartender and all-around scoundrel Quark on Deep Space Nine, he played Letek, one of the first Ferengi fans ever saw, in The Next Generation episode “The Last Outpost.”

Ferengi Were A Joke?

When that episode first aired, fans mostly thought the Ferengi were nothing but a big joke.

While we don’t think Shimerman is particularly to blame, he noted in his apology how Gene Roddenberry and Paramount had different ideas for this new alien race that they had to ditch thanks to fan reaction.

As Armin Shimerman points out in the interview, “the Ferengi…were meant to be the new Klingons.”

Replacing The Klingons

Armin Shimerman

There were two basic reasons why producers felt The Next Generation needed a replacement for the Klingons: for one thing, in the timeline of the show, the Federation now had a peace treaty with the Klingons, which is why Worf could serve on the Enterprise.

The second reason is that in the early days of the new show, everyone wanted it to feel distinct from The Original Series, and that meant coming up with new bad guys rather than just relying on old favorites. 

Greedy Robber Barons To Start

Armin Shimerman

When Armin Shimerman first appeared as a Ferengi, the race was presented as a bunch of greedy robber barons as a way to metaphorically represent the evils of the “greed is good” mentality of the ‘80s.

They were also presented as warriors, complete with bizarre whips they wielded as weapons.

After fans proclaimed these new aliens laughable as a threat, the franchise leaned into the Ferengi’s greedy characteristics, transforming them into a race that is much deadlier with a contract in hand than they ever were with a whip. 

Armin Shimerman’s Quark

Armin Shimerman

On Deep Space Nine, Armin Shimerman’s Quark was the perfect embodiment of this new philosophy, and his conniving bartender Quark always entertained audiences with his clever schemes, dry wit, and his feud with Constable Odo.

That’s the real irony of the actor apologizing for his previous performance: he believes he failed the fans of The Next Generation because he had the largest Ferengi role in “The Last Outpost” and fans hated the new aliens, but the real responsibility for the failure lay with the writers, producers, and Gene Roddenberry himself. 

Making The Ferengi Interesting

star trek quark

Meanwhile, Shimerman’s later performance as Quark not only helped redeem the aliens but also ended up being one of the greatest performances in Star Trek history.

He singlehandedly made the Ferengi interesting, and that led to some of the most entertaining episodes of Deep Space Nine.

As huge Star Trek nerds ourselves, we’re sad to see Armin Shimerman still apologizing for something that isn’t really his fault. He did a solid job of doing what the Star Trek: The Next Generation producers asked of him, and he went on to embody the greatest Ferengi in the franchise.

Shimerman’s unnecessary guilt despite his own excellent performance is reminding us of Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 285: “no good deed ever goes unpunished.”