Star Trek icon William Shatner has weighed in on #MeToo and its latest involvement in the debate around the classic Christmas song “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” describing the #MeToo movement as hysterical and likening it to the French Revolution.
In an exclusive interview with Daily Mail TV, Shatner, who has released his own Christmas album this winter, inventively titled Shatner Christmas, claimed the controversial lyric in the song was just a man “offering an invitation and presenting an argument for not leaving.”
Earlier this month, CBC, a radio station in Shatner’s native Canada, took the 1949 song off the air over lyrics which in modern times appear to allude to sexual harassment or even date rape.
Last week, Shatner came in for criticism on Twitter after criticizing the decision and defending the song while calling for its reinstatement. But in his latest interview, he has doubled down on his argument.
Call in to CBC radio all day and get them to play “Baby It’s Cold Outside” over and over until midnight! ???????? pic.twitter.com/qrRwAHOwYX
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 11, 2018
“You’re not saying I’m closing the door and you can’t leave. It’s not force, it’s verbal persuasion, which works in the act,” Shatner told the British newspaper. “If you look back at things that were written and said 20, 30 years ago, it’s a different context. And you’ve got to judge it by that context. Rape and pillage, absolutely not, those are crimes against humanity. But saying ”would you make love with me?” and the opposing party says yes or no, I can’t fathom what’s wrong with that.
Shatner, who has three daughters of his own, was broadly supportive of the #MeToo movement, saying he believed it had had a mostly positive impact. But he went on to call for some of the firebrands to take a backward step and leave the campaign to the professionals.
“I’ve got three daughters and I’m glad that they have more opportunity. At the same time, it’s become hysterical,” he said. “It’s a whole new culture. The whole business has changed. The whole man-woman relationship has changed to a severe degree.”
He went on to explain how he has changed the way he speaks to women after taking part in a three-hour training course on sexual harassment in the workplace as part of his role in the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).
“It’s all about sensitizing you to what is harassment,” he explained. “You might say, as I have on numerous occasions, ‘looking good’, ‘wow, what a great dress’, ‘great legs’, ‘I love your hair’. Nothing grabby, touchy-feely, nothing sexual, just innocuous compliments that one might say to anybody, with no intent of lasciviousness.”
And it is not just his language which Shatner is now moderating too, but his physical contact with fans as well. “Star Trek fans say, ‘can I put my arm around you?’ when I say ‘Yes of course.’ ‘But I don’t [put my arm around them]. I’ve changed my behavior to quite a degree… because it’s a revolution.”