William Shatner, George Takei: Strange Quid Pro Quo
Over the years, the enmity between William Shatner and George Takei has popped up over and over again. The two Star Trek alum take shots at each other from time to time in the media. But no one is really sure why, other than just general incompatibility.
Even Shatner himself says he is clueless about why Takei hates him. He says he does not really know the guy. He would see him only briefly during television and movie shoots. Even on convention visits and such, they are often out on different days.
“He keeps saying bad things about me to everybody,” Shatner says. “I don’t know what he’s talking about. Rather than pursue it, I ignore it.”
Takei himself relished the opportunity to participate in the Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner, lathering on the animosity where most invitees tossed good-natured ribs.
“I can finally say what I’ve been waiting 40 years to say,” Takei told Shatner at the roast. “Fuck you and the horse you rode in on!”
“I had 40 years of material, and they only gave me four minutes,” Takei says. “I could have done the whole roast myself.”
The Takei portion of the roast was so popular, that Shatner wanted to use it as part of his one-man show Shatner’s World. So when George Takei wanted to include interview footage of Shatner in his documentary To Be Takei, a give and take was in the works.
“We had to bargain for it,” Takei says. “He wanted something from me, so he reluctantly agreed.”
“It was quid pro quo,” says Shatner agrees.
Documentary director Jennifer Kroot was surprised that Shatner would agree to do the interview.
“I never dreamed in a million years that William Shatner would agree to this,” she says. “I doubt any of these guys is losing sleep about their mutual dislike. On the other hand, they really just don’t like each other.”
But Shatner did agree, to only ten minutes of interview.
“He didn’t sugarcoat it,” Kroot says. “And at the end of 10 minutes, he said: ‘That’s it. That’s time. That’s the agreement.’
“They cannot get along. They are both human. I love Star Trek gossip as much as the next guy, and it’s hysterical. What can be more interesting than this media feud?”
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