George Takei Takes On William Shatner, Deepening The Hatred

After William Shatner recently claimed George Takei only mentions Shatner for publicity, Takei clapped back, claiming it is Shatner who is out for attention.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

George Takei has clapped back at William Shatner who said the former Star Trek actor only maliciously mentions his name for publicity. Speaking about his time on the hit sci-fi series, the 85-year-old said the USS Enterprise was generally a happy ship. But his long-running feud with his former co-star, who played Captain James T. Kirk, is well known.

Speaking to the U.K’s Mirror, George Takei responded to his counterpart’s comments by doubling down on his views about working with him. “Nobody got on with Bill. He was and is a prima donna. He likes to be the center of attention,” the Broadway star explained. He also said that while Shatner started out as the star of Star Trek, he was overshadowed by the much more compelling Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock.

As for the claim that he mentions the Captain Kirk actor for publicity, George Takei made it clear that he doesn’t need William Shatner for his career to thrive. “Bill says I talk about him to get publicity… nonsense! I don’t need him for publicity. So I’m not going to play his game by talking about him,” he told the publication. Sadly, the animosity between the former co-stars is nothing new.

When Shatner made headlines for going to space, George Takei, who portrayed Sulu in Star Trek, called the 91-year-old an unfit guinea pig. In an interview with Page Six, the former said his co-star needed to stop smearing his name. “Why would George put that in public? After I came down from space… had this experience, talked about global warming.” Shatner told the publication.

Speaking candidly, he said George Takei’s comment was very mean-spirited and completely uncalled for. Shatner also added that he doesn’t give “a cup of tea” about his opinion, adding that the guy is just “not well.” And when the Sulu actor said the Captain Kirk star was jealous that Leonard Nimoy was better received by fans, Shatner quipped that Takei wasn’t on the set often enough to know that.

george takei
Georgie Takei

Away from his feud with William Shatner, George Takei is currently promoting the upcoming London run in the musical Allegiance, which is based on his personal experiences in the U.S. internment camps during WWII. With music and lyrics by Jay Kuo, and a book by Marc Acito, Kuo, and Lorenzo Thione, the story follows the Kimura family in the years following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

When they are forced to leave their farm in Salinas, California, the family is sent to the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in the rural plains of Wyoming. Development on the musical began in 2008, with the play debuting in September 2012 in San Diego. While it played on Broadway from October 2015 to February 2016, reviews were mixed. However, George Takei and the rest of the cast were praised. A revival followed in Los Angeles in 2018.

Star Trek made George Takei a household name. And he used that fame to bring attention to the plight of Japanese Americans in the war. The actor testified at hearings to push for reparations, and in 1988 President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act, apologizing for unjustly locking up an entire generation of Japanese Americans and granting surviving internees $20,000 each, in compensation, The Guardian reports.