Watch: Autistic Star Trek Fan’s Emotional Meeting With Whoopi Goldberg

Star Trek may just be a TV show (and movies, books, etc) but it can also affect people’s lives. An example of that came last week on a Dutch TV show interviewing former TNG star Whoopi Goldberg where the actress met an autistic fan who says she and Star Trek helped him lead a productive and social life. Watch the emotional moment below.  


Autistic Fan Thanks Whoopi For Her Role On Star Trek Changing His Life

Last Friday Whoopi Goldberg was a guest on the Dutch TV show College Tour. During the program shot in Amsterdam, Goldberg answered a question about what Star Trek meant to her. Goldberg also heard from an autistic man how much her role of Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation meant to him and how Star Trek led to him learning how to lead a productive and social life. It is a very touch moment and you can watch that clip below. 

You can watch the full episode of College Tour with Whoopi Goldberg below (via NTR).

Thanks to Bill for the tip and Cees Kan on YouTube for the clip.

Sort by:   newest | oldest
Pointing Out The Obvious
March 12, 2013 2:46 pm

The feels… the feels… Well done Whoopi!

Damn ninjas, cutting onions…

The Great Bird Lives
March 12, 2013 2:52 pm

Awesome story, Anthony. Very touching.

Bill Peters
March 12, 2013 2:56 pm

I love this story, As someone who lives with Autism day in and day out this was Awesome!

El Kapitan
March 12, 2013 2:57 pm

As an actor, filmmaker, or storyteller, how could you ask for any more than this? And how could you not appreciate how many times moments like these have come from Star Trek?

Adam C
March 12, 2013 3:04 pm

One of the few things that can make me angry at Star Trek, though its nobody’s fault in particular. Its that we’ve let Star Trek get like this an theatrical action movie, with a basic Star Trek message. Yet for TV these days It would be the same..

Netflix or the like is the only thing that can truly save Star Trek or bring about a new science fiction phenomenon.

March 12, 2013 3:06 pm

Wow, those damn ninjas cutting onions have made it over the pond. This was so touching, and the guy’s face after the hug, he was just overwhelmed. Lovely. What a affirming thing for an actor to hear too.

Bill Peters
March 12, 2013 3:18 pm

Actually I love JJ New Trek, I love it new take and it energy :) As someone who has been with Trek scene TNG, I love the new stuff just as much.

Jovius the Romulan
March 12, 2013 3:20 pm

Adam C: How does this pertain to this story?

Kevin Rubio
March 12, 2013 3:23 pm

That’s pretty f**kin’ sweet!

March 12, 2013 3:26 pm

I have always liked Whoopi Goldberg and her Guinan character. She is one cool lady/ladies(?). Sadly, the headphones are on the blink so I could not hear anything, but way to go, people!…:)

March 12, 2013 3:38 pm

@5 thanks for ruining a great moment by using it to trash Abram’s films. This moment is about how much TNG and specifically Guinan touched this dude’s life. Wesley Crusher could’ve had the same impact on some young person’s life. Counselor Troi could’ve influenced someone’s life in a big way. The messages in JJ’s Trek could’ve touched someone’s life and made them think different about who they are as a person (because if you missed it, he really honed in on the ‘biracial’ element well bi-species element of Spock).

I mean, I casually watch the fan series Phase 2 but it was the Blood & Fire episode which helped my boyfriend -a United States Marine machine gunner- come out to his parents and be a little more proud of who he is (pre-DADT). So don’t take one version of Trek and try to say that holds certain letigimacy over another because I’m sorry but that’s just plain wrong. Trek is amazing and becautiful because it has the ability to touch the life of a fan or viewer in all of its incarnations.

I dont know, maybe I misunderstood your statement and if I did, I’m sorry for the long rant- but there, I had to get on my soapbox for a minute.

El Kapitan
March 12, 2013 3:46 pm

@11 – I don’t think that was his intent, but well said PEB

March 12, 2013 3:53 pm

@12 You’re right. I totally jumped the gun there. I think I’d been seeing so many “JJ’s films are lacking heart” and “This isn’t real Trek” comments here and other places that I kinda just…well jumped the gun. So I apologize for that Adam C, hope I didn’t offend you.

March 12, 2013 4:05 pm

@5 and 10:

A friend of mine who’d never seen any Trek before was dragged to see ST09 for my birthday. He is mixed-race and there are rifts in his family over differing cultures. He was struck hard by the way Spock’s character was portrayed and it really made him think about himself. He was pretty speechless after the film because of the issues it had raised. My response was to tell him about Gene Roddenberry and how he changed the world… and continues to do so.

March 12, 2013 5:15 pm

Over the years so many have been positively affected by Star Trek. How great for us and how great for the actors to know this. And some people don’t understand why Trek is beloved to us. Not JUST TV show and movies.

March 12, 2013 5:53 pm

That’s touching.

Radioactive Spock
March 12, 2013 6:12 pm

Amazing. Have to admit to onion cutting ninjas here as well. Thanks, Anthony. I was having kind of a rough week and this absolutely made my day. Thank you.

March 12, 2013 6:21 pm

That was an overwhelming moment.

I didn’t expect that. Beautiful. Really.

March 12, 2013 7:13 pm

outstanding. well done whoopi.

Blake Powers
March 12, 2013 7:45 pm

That’s exactly why I love Star Trek.

Sebastian S.
March 12, 2013 7:47 pm

Whoopi, you absolutely ROCK. You are the best, baby. ;-)

El Kapitan
March 12, 2013 7:58 pm

Speaking of how Trek has affected the world, from a science & technology standpoint at least, it’s well worth watching the documentary, “How William Shatner Changed the World.” He hosts it himself, & it’s great about describing how technological innovators were inspired to their successes by Trek.

March 12, 2013 9:02 pm

Thanks Anthony. This is a beautiful clip on many levels. Star Trek means so much to so many people in ways we are still discovering. Amazing.

March 12, 2013 9:17 pm

That Trek is good stuff.

March 12, 2013 9:51 pm

Emotive moment!

moauvian waoul
March 12, 2013 11:15 pm


March 12, 2013 11:40 pm

I love this franchise. And that video is one of the reasons why.

Thanks to every writer, every actor, every grip and director and assistant producer, and to every one of you loyal fans on this site who post here and keep this amazing world called Star Trek alive.

And thank you to Anthony for posting such an uplifting, motivational story.

March 13, 2013 12:53 am

just awesome.

Whoopi especially, who took the role for similar reasons … I suppose it is the moments like this that are “(insert fantastical word that I can not come up with)” for her & others who tread similar footsteps …

cool, & I will try to learn from her example …

March 13, 2013 1:37 am

This is Star Trek. And that’s why I love it.

Ben Yoris
March 13, 2013 5:36 am

That made tears come to my eyes. That’s Star Trek. Couldn’t help to do the Vulcan salute during watching.

Thanks Whoopi !

March 13, 2013 9:44 am

My husband my sons are avid Star Trek fans. To make such an impact on a person with autism is truly remarkable. I also have a grandson with autism. My hope for him is that someone or something will come into his life to make an impact as you have done in this young man’s life. Kudos to you Whoppi.

Starfleet's Finest
March 13, 2013 10:39 am

Wow…..fantastic video; very touching. This makes me so proud I’m a Trekkie! Warm fuzzies all over!

March 13, 2013 10:50 am

Very nice. See? Fandom can, in spite of itself sometimes, do amazing things.

March 13, 2013 11:24 am


I am not Herbert
March 13, 2013 11:29 am


March 13, 2013 1:20 pm

You know I love storys like this where Star Trek has touched so people so much. Star Trek has always been there during difficult times for me. It allowed me to escape for 45 minuets or 2 hours. It allows me to belive that no matter how bad things got for me I could just go on an adventure in a place where it didn’t matter what creed, colour, oriantation, sex , etc people were everyone would be equal. And for that I will be always grateful to Gene Roddenbury and the entire run of producers over the last 47 years for that

March 13, 2013 2:21 pm

Sweet moment.

Reminds me of James Doohan’s favorite story about affecting the life of one of his fans. I’m sure we all know that one.

We all need role models and heroes. Star Trek is full of them. Great.

March 13, 2013 4:49 pm

Two of the best Star Trek episodes are Yesterday’s Enterprise and I, Borg. Guinan plays a fairly big role in both of those. If anyone ever rolls their eyes at Whoopi Goldberg being in Star Trek as a throwaway role, I’d point to those.

March 13, 2013 8:47 pm

That was incredible. What a great video. I was reduced to tears from the epic loveliness. Going to watch it again now :)

March 14, 2013 2:19 pm

She’s one of my faves, too! I worked as a bartender during her run on next gen. Now I’m a counselor and I wear purple all the time. Never thought about the connection until now.

(The Late) Richard Dawson's Ruffled Shirt
March 14, 2013 3:33 pm

THAT, people, is what “Star Trek” is about. Not whether or not Benedict is playing “Khan”… whether or not “Voyager” was good television or not… not whether or not Star Trek is better than Star Trek …

It’s about humankind furthering one another, each in their own way. Remember it, people. Please. Remember it.

Tesla's Cat
March 15, 2013 4:14 pm

My nephew has autism, and while it can’t be said to have had quite the same impact on his life as this gentleman’s, I know that he saw ST09 and definitely enjoyed it. :}