Star Trek star William Shatner characterized the Me Too movement as "hysterical" after he defended the song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" on Twitter amid reports of the song's banning on radio stations across the country.
On Dec. 11, the Canadian-born actor called on his fans to call into CBC radio to play the song after the network said it had no plans to play it this season. After critics came out in force, the 87-year-old dug in his heels.
"If 2018 prudes want to interpret the lyrics as something else; the problem obviously lies in their own minds not in the original lyrics," he wrote in one tweet. He later added, "I would think that censorship of classics because certain 'types' need to judge things through their own 2018 myopic glasses and demand they be stricken from history is important. Or is this 1984 only 34 years too late."
Call in to CBC radio all day and get them to play “Baby It’s Cold Outside” over and over until midnight! 😝😈 pic.twitter.com/qrRwAHOwYX— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 11, 2018
The song is "just offering an invitation and presenting an argument for not leaving," he said. "You're not saying I'm closing the door and you can't leave. It's not force, it's verbal persuasion, which works in the act."
While Shatner said he thinks the Me Too movement "is great," but said "Baby, It's Cold Outside" should be judged by the context it was written in.
"...If you look back at things that were written and said 20, 30 years ago, it's a different context. And you've got to judge it by that context," Shatner said. "Rape and pillage, absolutely not, those are crimes against humanity. But saying, 'Would you make love with me?'' and the opposing party says yes or no, I can't fathom what's wrong with that."
Shatner told DailyMailTV he still believes Me Too has been a positive force in today's society, but wants "firebrands" to let "business-like people" take over.
"I've got three daughters and I'm glad that they have more opportunity. At the same time, it's become hysterical," Shatner said. "It's a whole new culture. The whole business has changed. The whole man-woman relationship has changed to a severe degree."
Shatner said he recently took a three-hour training course on sexual harassment in the workplace as part of his work for the U.S. Equestrian Federation.
"It's all about sensitizing you to what is harassment. You might say, as I have on numerous occasions, 'looking good,' 'wow, what a great dress,' 'great legs,' 'I love your hair.' Nothing grabby, touchy-feely, nothing sexual," Shatner said. "Just innocuous compliments that one might say to anybody, with no intent of lasciviousness."
Shatner said he "changed my behavior to quite a degree... because it's a revolution."
The actor, who did not record "Baby, It's Cold Outside" for his new Christmas album, is best known for playing James T. Kirk on Star Trek and recently starred on NBC's reality show Better Late Than Never.
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