Star Trek legend William Shatner says the MeToo movement has become ‘hysterical’ and likened it to the French Revolution.
The Captain Kirk actor also hit back at his critics who slammed him for defending the Christmas song ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ on Twitter last week, after a radio station in his native Canada took it off the air.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV, Shatner – who is promoting his own Christmas album Shatner Claus – doubled down, saying the man in the song is ‘just offering an invitation and presenting an argument for not leaving.’
‘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 said.
He continued: ‘In 2018 we have the MeToo movement, which I think is great, that these hidden forces are exposed and not to be allowed and women have equal rights. I’ve got three daughters [aged 60, 57 and 54], I’m all for that.
‘But 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.
‘It’s like saying would you have dinner, would you like to write a song with me, would you do an interview? I’m not insulted by you asking me to do an interview. Maybe it’s my mindset based on the years I’ve lived, but I’m trying to be fair and I don’t see the problem.’
Shatner has daughters Leslie Carol Shatner, 60, Lisabeth Shatner, 57 and actress Melanie Shatner, 54, from his first marriage to Canadian actress Gloria Rand, aged 85.
The 87-year-old Star Trek hero said he recently enjoyed whipping up a flurry over ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’, relishing ‘the kick of getting somebody upset about something and playing with them verbally.’
On Tuesday last week he tweeted that Canadian radio station CBC should reinstate the song.
‘Call in to CBC radio all day and get them to play ”Baby It’s Cold Outside” over and over until midnight!’ Shatner wrote.
The post set off a long-running debate on his Twitter feed with reaction among his social media followers divided between supporters and opponents.
Shatner defended the song and blasted ‘2018 prudes’ who ‘want to interpret the lyrics as something else.’
‘I’ve tweeted about it just to get it out there and have some fun with the people who think differently. On my part there’s no animosity, just a difference of opinion,’ he told DailyMailTV.
Shatner says that while the MeToo movement has been a broadly positive force in society he believes it may be time for the ‘firebrands’ to step back and the ‘business-like people’ to take over.
‘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.’
The sci-fi actor also said he has had to rethink his compliments to women after recently taking 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. 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,’ he said.
‘Just innocuous compliments that one might say to anybody, with no intent of lasciviousness.’
Shatner said he has even become wary when posing for pictures with Star Trek fans.
‘People say ”can I put my arm around you?” I say ”Yes of course.”
‘But I don’t. I’ve changed my behavior to quite a degree… because it’s a revolution.’
The veteran star waded into the MeToo debate and the discussion over ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ after launching a new Christmas album of his own, Shatner Claus.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV, Shatner spoke of his new Christmas album Shatner Claus, explaining he collaborated with a star-studded roster of supporting artists, featuring Iggy Pop, Billy Gibbons, Rick Wakeman, Ian Anderson, Henry Rollins and Judy Collins
He collaborated with a star-studded roster of supporting artists, featuring Iggy Pop, Billy Gibbons, Rick Wakeman, Ian Anderson, Henry Rollins and Judy Collins.
Though he is better known for his role aboard the Starship Enterprise, Shatner Claus is the star’s tenth album, with his take on yuletide classics including Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, adding to his previous covers of Rocket Man, Bohemian Rhapsody, Common People, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, and Mr Tambourine Man, as well as original music he has been releasing since the 1960s.
And while some ridicule his distinctive style of dramatically speaking rather than singing song lyrics, Shatner says that much of his discography – including Shatner Claus – is serious.
‘It sounds funny, gets a laugh, but in fact I’m doing some serious stuff on the album,’ he explains. ‘There are the usual Christmas songs, and I’ve tried to bend them a little, with great talents accompanying me,’ he said.
‘The album has these serious moments, or delightful moments, and then these very religious moments, where I pay homage to the religious characters of Christmas. So it’s a potpourri of these things and it’s meant to amuse.
‘The opening song is Jingle Bells, and I’m envisioning a runaway horse with Henry Rollins and I trying to control it, and a Mariachi group at the end of the album playing I Want to Wish You a Merry Christmas.’
Though Shatner is better known for his role aboard the Starship Enterprise, Shatner Claus is the star’s tenth album, with his take on yuletide classics including Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Shatner confessed he was star struck to be working with some of the artists on his Christmas album, but he said the feeling was mutual.
‘I’ve worked with some extraordinary talents on this album,’ he said. ‘I’ve known Iggy Pop distantly, but as the fun Iggy Pop. He came in with this glorious, lived-in voice, and I followed him around.
‘One of the things that I yearn for that I’ll never be able to fulfil is to make music,’ he added. ‘I come to it later in life filled with desire, but my abilities musically are limited. And within those limitations I’m trying to live with these people. I hero-worship a lot of these people.
‘Yet all of them, either when asked, jumped, or volunteered. They heard I was doing a Christmas album, they called and said I want to be on it. I would suspect they’re all Star Trek fans.’
Shatner revealed his wife Elizabeth, who is 27 years his junior, has threatened to play his new album at Christmas dinner. He hopes she won’t.
‘I withdraw from too overt a presence anywhere, so playing me doing something at Christmas is not what I would vote for,’ he said.
The actor revealed one of his family’s Christmas traditions at his home in California’s San Fernando Valley is a 15-strong bike ride.
The octogenarian even has electric bikes ready for them all, so that everyone can keep up.
‘We’ll be spending Christmas at home, and I’m delighted, he said. I love my home, the family loves being around.
‘Fifteen members of my family go bicycling and we can all keep up because we’re all on electric bikes. It’s brought us all together.’
And while some ridicule his distinctive style of dramatically speaking rather than singing song lyrics, Shatner says that much of his discography – including Shatner Claus – is serious
Shatner says that one of his fondest memories of Christmas time was being alone in a snowy field in Ottawa, Canada – though he urges others to come together for the holiday season.
But he also says he looks forward spending time with his animals.
‘I’ve got a lot of people who are dear in my life, but maybe none more than my dogs. Spend Christmas with your dogs,’ he added.
‘Horses are also a huge part of my life. It’s my family, my dogs, my horses. I go to the horses all the time, for exercise, for spiritual, I come to them just for the joy of connecting with another species. Horses and dogs are a huge part of my life because you see in that life form an intelligence, an intention, a consciousness, and their effect on you is profound.’
At 87, the actor says he’s at the most creative time of his life – with not only a Christmas album, but a country album and a book out this month, and a new blues album in the works.
‘I’m in a more creative frenzy today than I have ever been,’ he said. ‘It’s been an upward climb of activity and creativity.
‘I would love to play a 30 year old man, leaping and jumping without the aches and pains people my age get. But I don’t think of my life in those terms.
‘It’s like a dog with a bone, I’ve got it. I’m capable of doing that now more than I ever have before. I’m good, I’m doing the good life, I’m living my dream,’ he said.
Shatner says that despite his age there are still many things he wants to do, including travelling to see the Aurora Borealis.
‘One of the trips we all want to take, that I have to before I die, is to go north and see the Northern Lights,’ he said. ‘It’s cosmic. The Northern Lights are part of the mystique of life in the universe.’
To order William Shatner’s Christmas album Shatner Claus visit here.