William Shatner, the face of the iconic Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series, has been under attack recently from crazed Outlander trolls, and now Salon has made their attempt at a self-fulfilling prophecy in their recent article, rhetorically asking, ” Does William Shatner’s attack on SJWs erase his Star Trek legacy?”
Salon‘s overly simplistic reductio ad absurdum doesn’t take into account the months of travail Mr. Shatner faced that drew him towards such ire. What goes unspoken in the Gizmodo and Salon pieces are how he was channeling the inner “Evil Captain,” exhorting these “super-shippers” (many of whom were evidently fully grown adults in their 40s and upper) to grow up! These rabid fans, fueled by tabloid rumors, had for months been crossing the line into and beyond harassment. All this over their inability to separate Hollywood magic and on-screen chemistry for “what would and must be kismet.”
Gizmodo followed suit shortly after Salon, signal-boosting the fairly baseless accusations of William Shatner being “alt-right” and cleverly choosing the gimmick of using a still from a Star Trek episode where Kirk is in disguise as a Nazi.
To make sense of the seemingly abrasive behavior from the beloved face of Captain James Tiberius Kirk, using foul language like snowflake and misandry in his feed, we have to travel back several months to the beginnings of the Outlander troubles. What started as a crazed group of fans convinced the Starz fantasy series’ characters on-screen romance should extend to the real world became a heated battle online involving threats that crossed the line multiple times. Shatner’s insertion into the issue was an attempt to protect his friends, Outlander stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughen.
All the trolls are trying to do is cause Sam to unfriend me. In their twisted heads that will bring Sam back to Caitriona. Craycrays https://t.co/eXA9MtJbRc
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) August 1, 2017
The Siver Times reported that even some relatives of the actor and even journalists covering the situation have had bouts of intimidation and harassment in relation to the wished-for romance. This all culminated in Shatner’s PR person having her life threatened when fans thought she was secretly dating Sam. All this over some hopeful fan-fiction dreams. It is notable that a website called “Outlander Bullying” exists documenting some of the early abuses while explaining, to the uninitiated, what “shipping” is. The site is over half a year old, so this has been a recurring thorn for some time to Shatner.
My PR woman got a death threat b/c someone thought she was dating Sam. https://t.co/Hmkg0CAmuM
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) February 20, 2017
In the midst of all of this, Shatner was attacked by SJWs for coming out in support of “Autism awareness” rather than “Autism acceptance.” This sort of rabid behavior has become expected from certain hard-line keyboard warriors on the extreme left. Saturday Night Live has even hinted at some of the problem in skits like “The Bubble,” and Business Insider recently explicated this as a specific problem within the Democratic Party in an article titled “Liberals can win if they stop being so annoying.”
“This combination of facts has me thinking a lot about what I call ‘the hamburger problem.’ As I see it, Democrats’ problem isn’t that they’re on the wrong side of policy issues. It’s that they’re too ready to bother too many ordinary people about too many of their personal choices, all the way down to the hamburgers they eat.
“They don’t always want to prohibit those choices. But they have become smug and condescending toward anyone who does not match the personal lifestyle choices of liberal elites. Why would the voters on the receiving end of that smug condescension trust such a movement to operate the government in their best interest?”
A rejection of the stereotypical SJW is not necessarily a rejection of the belief in equality, and considering his treatment after the autism charity debacle, it could be seen why a harried Shatner might resort to using “trigger words” like “misandrist” and “snowflake,” especially since having become a confirmed 4chan lurker.
Gizmodo claims, without the need for citation, that he had previously aligned himself with the alt-right despite Shatner himself scoffing at the idea. When a fan warned that he might be smeared as “alt-right,” he reacted with an eye-roll emoji and the tongue-in-cheek reference to his being the “Grand Master of the Delusionati.”
Sadly, in an age of echo chamber media, bereft of nuance, this sort of admission is all the Gizmodos and Salons of the world need to gather a posse and go out for blood.
[Featured Image by Matt Winkelmeyer/Stringer/Getty Images]