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Shatner Feud All About Publicity, Takei Says

The two original Trek actors haven't liked each other much over the years, and this probably won't help

George Takei is making the rounds with the New York press, promoting his new Broadway musical "Allegiance."

The play, which was featured in Takei's recent documentary, sheds light on life in the Japanese-American internment camps Takei was forced to live in during World War II.

Of course, some reporters — like those at The New York Times Magazine, can't help but ask Takei about his long-standing feud with original "Star Trek" series co-star William Shatner. And Takei can't help himself from answering.

So with Shatner in his 80s, and Takei not far behind, why not just bury the hatchet already?

"It's not tension, it's all coming from Bill," Takei said in a recent interview. "Whenever he needs a little publicity for a project, he pumps up the so-called controversy between us."

In fact, Takei said, Shatner proved that when he went online in 2008 talking about how Takei didn't send him an invitation to his wedding with longtime partner Brad Altman.

"The reason he raised that fuss two months later is because he was premiering his new talk show, 'Raw Nerve,'" Takei said. "Raw Nerve" did premiere on The Biography Channel in late 2008, a few months after Takei's wedding.

"He went on YouTube and ranted and raved about our not sending him an invitation," Takei said. "We had. If he had an issue, he could have easily just phoned us before the wedding, simple as that. But he didn't."

Takei first publicly shared his displeasure about working with Shatner in his 1994 autobiography "To the Stars," which came out three years after the two would work together on a Star Trek film for the last time. He told the Times that it's "difficult working with someone who is not a team player."

"The rest of the cast all understand what makes a scene work — it's everybody contributing to it," Takei said. "But Bill is a wonderful actor, and he knows it. And he likes to have the camera on him all the time."

Takei wasn't the only actor who felt that way. Walter Koenig, who played Chekov in the original series, told Shatner on his "Raw Nerve" program that many members of the cast always felt that Shatner could get them fired at any time. Shatner expressed remorse for treating people that way, and wished he had behaved differently.

That might be something Takei is interested in hearing. In fact, he says that despite the feud, he would still offer an olive branch.

"I don't need to forgive him," Takei said. "I've already invited him to the opening night of 'Allegiance.'"

To read the full interview with Takei, click here.

Source: New York Times


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