William Shatner wanted to take on a fun role for Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox, but instead has found himself in the middle of a legal dispute that, thankfully, he's not technically a part of.
Shatner played an umpire who doesn't know how to make calls in the Brian Evans music video "At Fenway." The video and song (see it here), which reportedly had the blessing initially of the Red Sox, was shot inside historic Fenway Park in Boston. The song is a valentine more or less to the baseball team and the fan experience at the 101-year-old park. Shatner's cameo is the only non-athlete appearance in the video, calling obvious balls strikes, doing a mis-call on a run to first base, before finally giving up and signaling a game-winning Red Sox home run.
But it wasn't until Evans' mother died a few weeks after the video was complete that life with the Red Sox went sour. According to the Boston Business Journal, Evans filed a lawsuit against Steward Health Care, which the singer reportedly blamed for his mother's death. The company, however, is an advertiser with the Red Sox, and Evans claimed that his lawsuit against that advertiser damaged the relationship he had with the Red Sox.
Evans claimed later on that the Red Sox hurt his work with the media to promote the song and video, which now has more than 11 million views on YouTube, although he is not specific about what exactly the Red Sox did and to whom.
Evans is reportedly representing himself, despite calls for him to get a lawyer, and has had the case moved from Hawaii, where he lives, to Massachusetts. It's unclear what damages he's seeking from the Red Sox, but so far, his case has moved forward.
The video was filmed in late 2012, and made its debut on YouTube last March in honor of Evans' late mother.