Actor William Shatner scolded members of parliament in the European Union over reports that they planned to address the “gendered language” in the iconic introduction to his science fiction fan-favorite television series: “Star Trek.”
GB News reported on the initiative, which was apparently inspired by a 61-page document — titled “Toolkit on Gender-sensitive Communication” — which was published by the European Institute for Gender Equality.
In addition to advising against the use of phrases like “no-man’s land” — suggesting “unclaimed territory” as an alternative — the document addressed the problematic goals of the Galactic Federation, namely “to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
According to the group’s findings, statements such as that one created an environment where “women may be subject to invisibility or omission.”
Shatner, who delivered the line as part of the introduction of each “Star Trek” episode, was not convinced.
“Presentism at work yet again,” Shatner began by registering his complaint about the attempt to apply today’s values to a show that was created in a very different time and culture.
“Why start at Trek?” the actor asked in his X post, suggesting that there were certainly more important historically significant documents that should be addressed first.
“Isn’t it better to start at the beginning and redo foundation material such as the Magna Carta, religious writings, works of Shakespeare before worrying about a silly TV show opening that reflects social commentary of the time?” he asked. “If people are offended by 6 seconds of dialogue recorded in 1966 without a modicum of understanding of the social issues at the time there’s bigger issues that they need to deal with first — like educating themselves.”
😳👇🏻Presentism at work yet again. Why start at Trek? 🤨Isn’t it better to start at the beginning and redo foundation material such as the Magna Carta, religious writings, works of Shakespeare before worrying about a silly TV show opening that reflects social commentary of the… pic.twitter.com/P0okn5rYca
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) January 29, 2024
One person responded to Shatner by asking is the EU planned to ban the words of American astronaut Neil Armstrong next.
“Neil Armstrong must be spinning in his grave … ‘One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’ Will he be canceled for leaving out an ‘a’? Is the word ‘mankind’ misogynous? We live in foolish times.”
Neil Armstrong must be spinning in his grave…
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.
Will he be canceled for leaving out an “a”? Is the word “mankind” misogynous? We live in foolish times.
— Ry Brooks (@RyBrooks) January 29, 2024