William Shatner on #MeToo: 'It's Become Hysterical'

While discussing his views on #MeToo, William Shatner praised the movement to some extent, before ultimately calling it "hysterical."

William Shatner

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William Shatner

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. 

I’m offended that you used that without even understanding my issue. It shows ignorance. My issue is that women use me too as a weapon when they don’t get an autograph, when they don’t get their way, etc & the circus that ensues is comical and sad. aka hysterical.🙄 https://t.co/7AJgNcJCfY

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 22, 2018

I keep asking who is policing it because there’s a lot using it for their own personal vendettas that have nothing to do with the points of the movement. I likened it to the French Revolution because it started with trying to right noble injustices & descended into chaos. https://t.co/MeYERCqReB

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 22, 2018

Sue, you have a comprehension issue. Never said that. I basically said it’s going too far with some. I have 3 daughters so of course those issues concern me. It’s the ones co-opting it for personal vendettas. It needs to be policed or it will become akin to the French Revolution. https://t.co/YyXrwygv9s

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 22, 2018

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. 

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