George Takei: William Shatner Refused To Appear On-Stage With James Doohan At Farewell Con

The ongoing feud between Star Trek’s William Shatner and George Takei was reignited yesterday on the Howard Stern radio show, with Takei talking about how in 2004 William Shatner refused to join him and other Star Trek cast members for the on-stage finale of James Doohan’s farewell convention. Details and audio below.


Takei on Shatner’s “monstrous” refusal to join Doohan for on-stage finale

The 2004 Planet XPo "Beam Me Up Scotty…One Last Time" tribute in Hollywood, CA, was the last convention appearance for the late James Doohan, Star Trek’s Scotty, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s and passed away in 2005. The con featured appearances from William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Grace Lee Whitney, Majel Barrett Roddenberry, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols and other Trek and space celebrities. The event ended with most of the Star Trek stars joining a wheelchair-bound Doohan on stage for one final goodbye.

Grace Lee Whitney, Majel Barrett Roddenberry, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols and Neil Armstrong join James Doohan on stage for finale of "Beam Me Up Scotty" Planet XPo tribute in 2004 (photo: Planet XPo)

Wednesday on the Howard Stern radio show, the Stern 100 News segment discussed a now-deleted 2004 blog entry from James Doohan’s son Chris Doohan, which stated that William Shatner refused to appear on stage with Doohan for "Beam Me Up" con finale. According to Doohan, Nimoy had to leave for another event. However, Doohan’s blog says William Shatner specifically refused to participate. According to the report, Shatner told the con organizer:

Shatner: I don’t want to do this and I really don’t want to deal with all this Alzheimer’s crap.

Star Trek’s George Takei, who is appearing all week on Stern’s show, confirmed that he was there when Shatner made this refusal, saying Bill’s comment was a "monstrous statement".

Takei also stated:

Takei: It was not surprising, but yes shocking… This is the usual thing that happens, on the set whether it was the TV series or the movies, or at conventions. This was another convention where he decided he was not going to do what they wanted him to do, and he walked out.

You can listen to the news report and exchange with Takei below.

According to Chris Doohan’s original Myspace blog entry from 2004, earlier in the day at the con, Shatner participated in a photo op with Doohan and other Star Trek cast members, and at that time Shatner told Doohan "he loved him", with James returning the comment, seemingly putting their long-time feud behind them.

Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, George Takei, William Shatner, and Leonard Nimoy join James Doohan for a press photo op at "Beam Me Up" Planet XPo Con in 2004 (Photo: Planet XPo via Chris Doohan’s Facebook)

TrekMovie reached out to Sky Conway, the head of PlanetXPo, to get his reaction to Takei’s comments. Conway replied via email:

Sky Conway: It’s true that Bill chose not to go on stage for the finale for personal reasons. Instead, one of Jimmy’s biggest fans went on in his place: Neal Armstrong..the first Man on the Moon.

At our show: “The Great Bird of the Galaxy” in El Paso Texas in November 2003, a celebration of Gene Roddenberry and Star Trek, Bill and Jimmy went on stage together. Behind the scenes and before they went on stage, they hugged each other, apologized and expressed their love and admiration for each other. Bill specifically asked me to get them together so he could make amends and clear the air between the two of them before it was too late.

During the Wednesday show, Howard Stern said that next time Shatner (who is a frequent guest) was on his show, he would ask him about this latest Star Trek cast controversy.

More info and photos from Doohan’s final con at


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It is tough to watch a friend waste away. Especially a close friend.

What’s the big deal? Sounds like they traded up, getting Neil Armstrong instead of Shatner. Frankly, I’d rather meet a REAL space captain… if given the option.

Oh, and Takei, let go already. The whole “feud” is now waaay past being tiresome. Just pathetic.

Vultan you can spin it how you want, but Shatner made the WRONG CALL

Sounds to me that nobody can get their stories straight. I realy am not sure who or what to believe. I wish. I could. Find out what realy happened and what was realy saidm

I’m a gay man saying this but I must George you are being quite the drama queen! I was there and it was a beautiful convention and a fitting tribute.
Let it go. It would seem they did years ago.

Oh please George Takei. Stop spreading lies. Your just pist off at Bill.

Takei suffers from Shatner Derangement Syndrome. LOL

It’s a shame it had to be that way. Thank goodness there is no feuding with the new ST cast :)

Something really doesn’t make sense here obviously. The last photo directly above shows Shatner obviously had no qualms about taking a farewell press photo with Doohan and the others, yet supposedly later in the day he wouldn’t go on stage with Doohan and the rest of the cast? :::Sigh::: Is Takei blowing this out of proportion for the sake of stirring up more “Hate Shatner” controversy? Is this what the man does to generate ‘buzz’ and get some attention? I’m not saying Shatner doesn’t have the potential to be a jerk at times, but come on, I seriously doubt he would be rotten just for the sake of being rotten when Doohan was obviously living his last days. I just find it a little hard to believe that he’s that much of a bastard, regardless of the bad blood that had previously existed between the two men, mostly on Doohan’s side rather than Shatner’s by the way, who always seemed to want to get along with the rest of the cast almost regardless of what rotten things they may have said about him on a personal level. He always seemed to be the one most interested in putting all that behind them.

Oh it’s very possible that it happened. I mean, it couldn’t possibly be that he was angry and upset at seeing the man whither away… It couldn’t be that he was tired of putting on a brave face in front of a crowd… it’s an automatic jump to the idea that Shatner’s a jerk and that’s why he said that… or maybe the convention people just couldn’t get his latte right and he was upset about it. There are always multiple facets to every story.

I am really sick of this Takei-Shatner thing.

What is the purpose, really, of dredging up something like this? Does Takei need the spotlight that badly? And why didn’t he bring it up years ago, anyway? Waiting for the right moment? Geez, Louise…

Yes, George; we get it: Shatner didn’t particularly like, nor was he particularly nice to, the supporting cast; but let’s not forget that the same was true vice versa mutatis mutandis. Shatner’s not simply ‘the’ bag guy, here.

I do wish Mr Takei would let this Shatner thing go. I’m still looking forward to seeing him at the SFX Weekender next February though.

^that should be ‘bad’ of course…

Sounds like Shatner and Doohan said what needed to be said backstage at the earlier con in 2003 and for the photo op at the farewell con in 2004 (and Shatner did give Doohan a chance to clear the air for Shatner’s Trek memoirs in 1993, to which Doohan refused). It’s just unfortunate that Doohan’s tragic passing had to be marred by all of this pettiness (from all parties involved); but to me, it sounds like Doohan and Shatner made their peace in the end. No one else should worry about it now, really.

I think Doohan was a really great guy and his loss is still keenly felt, but in the grander scheme of things, Takei should really let it go. Keeping all of that hate and anger bottled up does not do him any good (except maybe to drive up Howard Stern’s ratings).

I want a T-shirt that says Shatner is the Bag Guy.

Seriously, though, it’s time for George to let it go. But Shatner does drag stuff out way too long too (being snubbed in Trek ’09), but seeing sixty-somethings bitching about “he doesn’t like me” is pathetic. Every time I see Takei’s name, I know he’s gonna be griping about Bill.

But what do I know? I wasn’t there — II’m just the guy who has to listen to it.

And as for the pic of Shatner with the cast… he looks OUT OF IT!!! Love it. Wanna print and frame it.

damn it, Jim!

I almost hate to ask, but, what was the drama between Doohan and Shatner? Damn, Shatner seems to have beef with everyone!

Yeah this is ridiculous, enough of this stupid feud. they should start acting like men, not children and on top of that there clocks are fast running out of time.

Shatner has a new hit show (amongst other things), while George has commercials for televisions where he’s pimping the color yellow. I would be envious of The Shat too! Just let it drop already.

George Takei to write a new book called, “Why I hate Shatner and the Brewery in Trek!”

@23 – Dunno if I’d call Shat’s new show a “hit”. I found it pretty painful to watch. Although Shat is fun… the rest of the cast sucks.

That said… yeah.. enough with the feud. I have nothing but respect for George (who I was fortunate enough to meet last year) but… c’mon.. enough.

rumor has it Mr Shatner and Mr Doohan came to some sort of understanding, or at least on Mr Shatner’s part because i think Bill truely did not understand..nor did a lot of fans..why Jimmy didn’t like Bill. And, today he doesn’t talk of it much because IMO it was a private moment shared and non of our damned business…

ive said this before on this site, have you noticed mr takei doesnt start his rant until Mr Shanter hits another career high?…his new show is a hit, just got renewed for the remainder of the season and probably next year

@6..yeah, people like takei and perez hilton and rachel maddow makes me ashamed to be gay

to mr takei…please, mary, let it go

@25 why rachel maddow? she seems super smart, if opinionated.


I wasn’t trying to “spin” it in any direction. I think they’ve both acted like idiots over the years. But if Takei would just forgive and forget and quit (publicly) beating this dead horse—well, you’d be surprised at how quickly a grudge can disappear when you stop talking about it.

Does anyone else think that Shatner is not tired annoyed by Alzheimer’s but that it terrifies him? Anyone approaching his later years has to consider that something like that might strike at home. Alzheimer’s is a devastating, wicked ailment and sometimes the easiest way to deal with it is toavoid thinking about it and not be around people who are suffering from it. Perhaps that makes a man weak but it also makes him human.

I join the chorus–game over George. Time to stop being a mean widdle kid and just get on with your life.

I’m not judging anybody. Lord knows I’ve done enough shit I wish I could do over.

Rachel Maddow is gr8!

I dunno man…

The Shat had better have a damn good explanation for this one.

And frankly, it’s hard to imagine what that might be.

Ok….Shatner can be a real ass. We’ve known this for decades.

It’s just kinda sad that the only way George can get attention these days is by hammering Shatner. Move on with your life, George. It’s pathetic.

amazing, these posts and the immaturity and simplistic thinking demonstrated. Takei is describing something Chris Doohan described first. Maybe we should therefore discredit Chris Doohan? Does anyone remember that many people, including James Doohan, found Shatner to not be a particularly good guy?

First off….Shatner looks thrilled in that photo. Ya know maybe its hard to relate to someone basically your own age with alzheimers because you know it could easily be you there instead. Would Doohan have reacted any differently? He was very outspoken about Shatner do I kinda doubt it.

And second…for christs sake George give it up already…just stop.

“TrekGossips?? … may have been difficult for Mr. Shatner to deal with the illness of Mr. Doohan … but it remains an awkward attitude for sure!!!

I wish Takei would just go away. He’s had more fame than he ever deserved from this and just comes off really jealous of Shatner most of the time. Shat and Nimoy were the stars, then De, then Jimmy. The rest of them were pretty interchangeable (as evidenced by the number of episodes they were in or featured in) and, frankly, were lucky to have gotten a lifetime of cash out of this. Enough already, George, just shut up and make your TV commercials in peace.

LET IT GO TAKEI!! Seriously – pathetic indeed!

Am I the only one who finds the quote attributed to Shatner and the circumstances under which he supposedly said it a bit hard to believe? I mean, the level of insensitivity required to actually say something like that in the presence of Doohan’s son and Takai, if not others, strains credibility even for someone with the Shat’s reputation. I’ll be very interested to hear his side of the story.

Oh bababooey

And it’s an ugly attitude of Mr. Takei, too! …sad!!! … but ultimately they remain our idols … and nobody is perfect!!!

George was a huge hit in England in the jungle programme. He was nearly queen of the jungle don’t u know

Ladies, ladies… can’t we all just get along?

…or else, just settle this with a massive foodfight?

I’ll bring the cream flans.

Not again. The tacky, tactless Takei is doing it again. He’s having a go at Shatner, this time using James Doohan’s memory. Good grief. Has George Takei no class at all?

I think there are three things the new cast of Star Trek should remember (and heed) maybe and they are:
1. Never tell fans to “get a life”
2. Don’t let your character be killed off – especially if you are captain
3. Don’t air OTHER cast members’ “dirty laundry” in public.

Yes, I think that Shatner, like a lot of people, probably does have problems with dealing with alzheimers. After all, a lot of Boston Legal dealt with that topic, Shatner’s character fearing he had what he called “mad cow disease”. It may have been a way of helping Shatner come to terms, cope with the nature/prospect of the disease. I’m sure the programme also helped a lot of viewers as well in this respect. Did William Shatner start acting as Denny Crane in Boston Legal not long after James Doohan’s death, I wonder?

Without Shatner, Takei’s career would be so over he wouldn’t even be a footnote in Hollywood.

” I mean, the level of insensitivity required to actually say something like that in the presence of Doohan’s son and Takai, if not others, strains credibility even for someone with the Shat’s reputation”

I agree, it’s hard to believe. Had I not heard it myself, I wouldn’t believe it. I’ve known Bill since I was seven, and have talked to him on numerous occasions. That being said, I don’t think he could pick me in a police line-up. If I walked by any of the other cast members, they would know me in an instant.

Truthfully, there’s much about Bill that I like and I think he’s very talented. I wish him the best.

You know what I think I’m loving most about 2009’s Star Trek? The fact that THAT crew of the Enterprise isn’t mired in so much private feuding as to tarnish the perception of an American phenomenon. It’s hard to remember the heroes we grew up with when the they’re so often taking jabs at each other.

PS Don’t blame George, he’s just responding and corroborating my encounter. Pick on me if you wish…I can take it.

@1: Are you referring to Shatner? LOL

I’m very fond of both Shatner and Takei, but honestly. I’d seriously like to slap them both on the side of the head. C’mon kids, get over it. Life is too short.