William Shatner hasn’t signed any pictures of his Blue Origins flight
Shortly after William Shatner returned from his historic flight to space on Blue Origins, pictures of his arrival back on Earth began circulating. These were images taken to celebrate the occasion, but that didn’t stop sellers on the ecommerce site, Etsy, from adding a fake signature of Shatner to the pictures and putting them up for sale at the modest price of $19.95. Not only are those images not for sale, but Shatner has confirmed that he never signed any of the photographs which makes the autograph a forgery.
Shatner took to his Twitter account to point out the shop owners’ activities in hopes the ecommerce site would intervene. And at the time of this writing, the images had disappeared from Signed Photos shop; however, the William Shatner Commemorative Space Flight Christmas Ornament from LaneCustomGifts still remains available for sale.
Unfortunately, people consider William Shatner and other celebrities public property
Other celebrities have had to contend with fans using their likeness for a number of things. It seems as though pictures, regardless if the celebrity has authorized them, to some fans, are fair game. And they think it’s perfectly okay to fake an autograph on the same and slap it up for sale. Fortunately, William Shatner gets some help from his fans who point out these issues, and he has no problem with addressing the wrongdoings…as he should.
Star Trek actors (and others) are not public property. They are real people with real lives that deserve to be respected. Seeing an image you like on the internet doesn’t give you the right to snatch the photo and try to make a buck off of it. And, most of the time, those advertising images with autographs aren’t real. But that doesn’t stop some “fans” from thinking it’s okay as it’s not like the actor really needs the money. Right? But this isn’t about money; it’s about decency and respect and not using someone else’s unauthorized pictures or forged signature to pad a bank account.