William Shatner, the 87-year-old actor and singer, has added himself to the list of men who have decided to criticize the #MeToo movement.
During an interview with Daily Mail TV, Shatner admitted that he believes the #MeToo movement has taken things out of context. He specifically defended the Christmas song "Baby It's Cold Outside," which has recently been banned by radio stations for its predatory lyrics. What started at as fairly neutral quickly turned critical, after Shatner called the movement "hysterical."
Shatner started the conversation by discussing context, and how the passage of time has shifted how men and women interact. “But if you look back at things that were written and said 20, 30 years ago, it’s a different context,” he said. “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,” he explained.
Shatner then goes on to applaud the movement for exposing sexual assault and harassment within the entertainment industry. “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,” Shatner said. “I’ve got three daughters, I’m all for that.”
However, the conversation took a turn when he began listing the aspects of the movement which he seemingly disagrees. “At the same time, it’s become hysterical. It’s a whole new culture. The whole business has changed. The whole man-woman relationship has changed to a severe degree.” Additionally, he said that he believes that the “firebrands” who have been leading the movement, should step aside and allow for “business-like people” to take over.
The use of "hysterical" prompted many criticisms from people on social media, which Shatner ultimately responded to, refusing to retract his comments on the issue.
In addition to promoting his upcoming Christmas album "Shatner Claus," Shatner also explained that he took a three-hour tutorial on sexual harassment in the workplace as part of the work he does with the United States Equestrian Federation. However, the actor has yet to apologize for his comments.