ARMYs Have Mixed Feelings About William Shatner’s Attempt To Recruit Their Help, Here’s Why

After 3 years of birthday tweets for BTS from Shatner, it’s over…

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This article includes descriptions of bullying and graphic content that may disturb some readers.

On December 27, Canadian actor William Shatner, best known for portraying Captain Kirk in Star Trek, mysteriously tweeted that he would require the BTS ARMY’s assistance in trending a hashtag.

You wouldn’t expect to see the words “Star Trek” and “BTS” in the same sentence every day, but this wouldn’t be the first time they have been. Previously, Jungkook did the Vulcan salute created by actor Leonard Nimoy, a.k.a. Mr. Spock, accompanied by the blessing: “live long and prosper.”

This one means ‘live long and prosper.’ I invented it, and Star Trek learned it from me. How is that possible? Because Star Trek takes place in the future.

— Jungkook

Jungkook | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube

Shatner, of course, loved the nod to the franchise in which he starred.

Not only that but Shatner always wishes each member a “happy birthday” on Twitter. Here are all his birthday posts from him this year…

And, he’s been doing this for a few years now. There’s quite a bit so, here’s just a few…

It became clear he was not ARMY himself as he referred to RM as “Rap Monster” years after he changed his stage name.

In fact, Shatner didn’t really know much of BTS and their fandom until 2019.

He actually found out most of his information due to Jungkook’s birthday that year as it was trending so much it “broke Twitter.”

Since then, he has been posting to celebrate the members whenever it’s their birthday. That is until now…

As we mentioned before, Shatner had tweeted the post below @ ARMY.

Many were quick to support as if one’s captain had ordered their own army. Puns totally intended there.

Meanwhile, others were suspicious. ARMYs pointed out that we shouldn’t blindly follow just anyone’s demands. Instead, we should wait until Shatner’s official post to see if it aligns with our values.

Things immediately were off to a bit of a rocky start with Shatner after that. While he requested help from another fandom rather than his own, he responded to such comments, saying, “You are free to do whatever you want,” with an eye roll emoji.

He assured the willing ARMYs that the tweet would be posted at 6 AM PST the next day.

As promised, his tweet went out, and it was definitely not what any of us could have imagined. It ended up being a tweet celebrating the late Stan Lee‘s birthday.

A fan dressed as Spider-Man (left) and Stan Lee (right) | @TheRealStanLee/Twitter

While it’s honorable to celebrate a man that has created many of our favorite superheroes, there was still something questionable about this. The photo, as seen below, is an NFT (non-fungible token), which a lot of ARMYs are against due to NFTs’ carbon footprint.

According to QUARTZ, “Over its lifecycle, the average NFT will accrue a stunning footprint of 211 kg of CO2, equivalent to driving 513 mi in a typical US gasoline-powered car.” Yet, Shatner wanted ARMYs to share an NFT?

Netizens also reminded that William Shatner had tweeted questionable things in the past, many of which are deemed to be ableist. Naturally, they were concerned about his continued support of the controversial autism advocacy organization Autism Speaks.

William Shatner has responded to all tweets against him, defending himself. First of all, he briefly addressed the NFT issue, saying that he was simply sharing the cute design, not attempting to make a profit off of it.

He continued to defend his decision to support Autism Speaks. He claimed others make up lies to “suit” one’s “dislike” of the charity.

He refuted claims that he supports a “hate group” when speaking of Autism Speaks.

He claimed that they do more good than harm. He also defended Autism Speaks’ use of ABA (Applied behavior analysis, also called behavioral engineering).

It’s described as a scientific technique “with applying empirical approaches based upon the principles of the respondent and operant conditioning to change the behavior of social significance.” Again, the methods are controversial as it attempts to reinforce “desired behavior” and discourage “undesired behavior.” Think of it similar to training one’s child or pet or conversion therapy for LGBTQIA+.

Some consider Autism Speaks’ methods equivalent to Gay Conversation Therapy as they seek to change someone for who they are. In fact, Autism Speaks once claimed to be “looking for a cure” for autism. As Shatner pointed out, it has since been removed from the organization’s mission statement.

He challenged those criticizing his charity choice. He suggested that they’re not doing their research.

Still, others spoke from firsthand experience. They’ve seen how detrimental such methods can be to one’s Autistic family members. Nevertheless, Shatner blamed it on an instructor rather than the therapy itself.

He ignored these types of comments. Instead, he said that he had known Autistic individuals who had positive experiences with Autism Speaks.

Besides this, he considers it a personal choice to support a charity, and people should be free to do what they want. He added, “Neither of us should be attacking the other,” but…

He didn’t seem to follow his own advice when communicating with those who disagreed with him.

When seeing many ARMYs deny his request for their help trending his post, he nonchalantly told them that it is everyone’s personal decision whether to participate or not.

Shatner also shared that another ARMY requested payment in exchange for sharing and trending his post.

Other netizens showed up to stand beside Shatner, defending him while also criticizing the K-Pop fandom. Rather than disagree with this, Shatner himself highlighted it and agreed.

So, he began to wrap up the celebration turned debate by sharing these few comments that encouraged him.

He said he was just trying to honor his friend’s life as it would have been Stan Lee’s 99th birthday. So, while his intentions were maybe initially good, ARMYs think that the methods were not so much.

Still, there’s one thing that remains especially confusing. Why did he choose to single out BTS’s fandom of all fandoms for his project? He didn’t ask his own fandom, Trekkies (Star Trek fans), or Stan Lee’s Marvel fandom.

“Star Trek” cosplayers at convention. | @TeeJee23/Twitter

Despite his friendship with Stan Lee, Shatner claims he has no connection to Marvel fans yet claims one with ARMY.

This seems strange since there was actually a Star Trek comic book series in the ’80s published by none other than Marvel Comics.

He believed that Trekkies, already following him, would automatically support him. As for ARMYs, they may have interacted previously due to his posts for the BTS members’ birthdays, but they’re not exactly mutuals.

This certainly didn’t become the great birthday celebration for Stan Lee that William Shatner must have imagined. So, this is now the first year in a while that he has also not tweeted for V‘s birthday as his birthday was the day after these events…

Considering he’s taken the time even now to continue responding to many posts related to ABA as well as the always controversial Star Trek vs. Star Wars debate, it seems safe to say now that his days of acting friendly with BTS and ARMY are over.

Anyways, stan Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).

| Twitter

You can read about the controversy surrounding NFTs below:

HYBE Is Doing NFTs, Here’s What That Means And Why Some Fans Are Concerned

Source: @WilliamShatner and Wikipedia

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