William Shatner is the most iconic actor to ever step foot on a Star Trek set. Granted, he's not so set in that position that he can't one day be replaced, or even have an argument against someone else (Leonard Nimoy), but he is the face of Star Trek or at least was the face of Star Trek during his 30 years with the brand. Since 1994, however, he hasn't done anything with Star Trek, aside from conventions and his role in the Captain's documentary.
Aside from that, Shatner has spent the better part of his golden years away from the Trek limelight. Yet he recently caused a stir on social media by pointing out that Paramount+ isn't advertising his version of Kirk alongside the rest of the notable faces of the franchise. An admittedly surprising move, but not a huge one worth causing drama over.
Yet, here we are, watching Shatner claim that Paramount+ is trying to erase him, and in essence, telling fans that he won't return to Star Trek because Paramount clearly doesn't want him back. Granted, that's a surmising of the situation, but that was the basic gist of the exchange he had with a fan.
This is just a weird thing to kick up, because Shatner has long distanced himself from returning to Star Trek, and has said countless times that he doesn't want to be a part of some grand project, like a television show, but that he also doesn't want to just do a cameo either. It's kind of hard to see a project that comes along that could fit Shatner in a meaningful role that's not a starring role but also more than a cameo.
So Shatner has sort of made his bed in that regard. So to hear him causing a stink online doesn't make much sense. He's the one who has made it clear that he isn't all that interested in a return to the character and would only do it under the perfect set of circumstances.
So why does this bother him so much? It's not like his era is being erased, they're just highlighting Spock more than Kirk. But then again, according to his former co-stars and the stories they've told about his love of the spotlight, that's probably the most damning thing Paramount could've done.
We love Shatner, and his Kirk but this is a nothing burger, and just simply exists as drama.