Everyone and their brother knows how George Takei feels about William Shatner, but Walter Koenig isn’t feeling the same.
In a recent interview with Trekmovie, Walter Koenig explained what he believes the reasons are for how things worked on the set of Star Trek: The Original Series. Koenig expresses that Star Trek wasn’t about the cast, but it was about the caste in that the “stars” were distinguished by their position. And this was something that happened in most television series at the time.
With Star Trek, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley got top billing for the show, and that meant they were the people that had to be deferred to. It was simply something that was done during the times when the show was filmed.
At the time, it only bothered Koenig ocassionally, but he accepted that that was simply the way things were, and that William Shatner was “really only reflecting what was gonig on all around him.”
George Takei had a “different beef” with William Shatner according to Walter Koenig
While Koenig acknowledges that Shatner wasn’t doing anything different than what most people were doing, other stars, for example, he says that George Takei had a different beef with Shatner.
That beef has continued for the past fifty-seven years, and at this point, no one really knows why Takei is still angry at Shatner, but Koenig doesn’t feel the same malice towards Shatner. It sounds like he never did, although, he does admit there was one time that he got bothered by how things worked, but he got over it.
Koenig accepted that he wasn’t the star of the show, and he wasn’t expected to be treated like royalty or like one of the stars. That acceptance led to him having a better time filming Star Trek and kept him from the bitterness that others have felt.
We’ve all probably had jobs that we weren’t 100% happy with. Maybe even bosses or colleagues that didn’t treat us equitably, but once we left those jobs, we moved on. We didn’t spend the next fifty years marinating in our anger. Koenig handled things maturely and wisely and realized it was a job, and while things weren’t perfect, it was still a job.