William Shatner, perhaps best known as the narrator of the 1963 film Operation Bikini, is at it again. This time he’s taken aim at the snowflakes, misandrists, and social justice warriors (SJWs) that have annoyed him so much on Twitter.
Despite his notable work on Operation Bikini, Shatner is also known to a small, cult fanbase as the first Captain of the USS Enterprise on the original Star Trek series. And many Star Trek fans are disappointed, as Shatner has gone viral for his recent attacks on people who thought that his presence on a socially progressive TV show from the 1960s meant that he shared their values.
But none of this is new, as Shatner has been talking about his distaste for social justice warriors on social media for some time now.
As early as July 2016, Shatner was talking about SJWs and painted them as people who simply want to “attack and hide.”
Shatner has claimed that social justice warriors (SJWs) are people who “stand for inequality” and that he’s just calling out misandry (bias against men) and people who are snowflakes (the alt-right term for delicate people who need safe spaces).
Shatner has previously aligned himself with the so-called alt-right (he even claims to surf 4chan) and declined to speak against the intolerance of President Trump, joking that he might “be deported” (Shatner is Canadian).
Back in September his old castmates signed an open letter denouncing Trump’s racism and bigotry. Shatner was notably absent from the letter, and it becomes clearer with each passing day why that might be.
Ironically, despite his constant ridicule of “snowflakes,” Shatner is quite fond of reporting “bullying” on social media.
Diehard fans of the little known space-themed show are disappointed.
“It seems that Shatner has not so much misunderstood the source material than turned away from it,” Manu Saadia, author of Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek, told me.
“Star Trek is the lone TV show that has carried the torch of equality, progress, and utopia in popular culture. To see one of its most famous ambassador using alt-right language should be a wake up call to fans,” Saadia continued.
“It is ruinous for the 50-year-old franchise, especially so close to the launch of its first new show in more than a decade. Shatner is known to be prickly and jealous of his status in Star Trek. Maybe he can’t stand that the limelights are now trained on a new, diverse crew?” said Saadia.
“Star Trek is a lot of things but, at its heart it stands for the ideal that the fruits of technological and social progress should be equally shared among all of humanity. That’s definitely not what Shatner is advocating here,” said Saadia.
“I should add that I think Trek matters more than just to fans. It was the only sci-fi universe that’s always been unabashedly utopian. It’s a fluke that it even made it on TV. There’s no sci-fi out there that lays out such a detailed vision of what could be, where ‘the accumulation of things’ is no longer the dominant passion in our lives. So it matters much more than it lets on at first sight,” said Saadia.
“Shatner, because of his status and platform, is soiling that tiny ray of hope, however fleeting. It’s sad and it doesn’t help.”