How William Shatner Betrayed Autistic People’s Trust

Sarah Kurchak
Apr 7, 2017 · 7 min read
WikiCommons/Crosa

If this were an episode of Star Trek, Kirk would have learned an important lesson by now.

AApril is Autism Awareness Month, the traditional time for awareness campaigns to go terribly — and painfully — off the rails. Autistic people have learned not to expect much from these efforts on our behalf; often, we dread finding out what well-meaning allistics have cooked up for our benefit. This year, though, the betrayal was especially keen: none other than William Shatner, the original James T. Kirk from the much-beloved-by-autistics Star Trek, has been boldly going where so many backhanded “awareness” advocates have gone before.

James T. Kirk has been boldly going where so many backhanded “awareness” advocates have gone before.

This kind of blowup is the natural outcome when campaigns that treat awareness as a goal enlist privileged celebrities with no real stake in the matter.

When someone from a group you’re ostensibly trying to champion reaches out and asks you to reconsider, they’re putting a lot of faith in you.

The Establishment

The conversation is much more interesting when everyone has…

Sarah Kurchak

Written by

Author of I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder (April 2020, Douglas & McIntyre). Covers autism and pop culture. Loves wrestling.

The Establishment

The conversation is much more interesting when everyone has a voice. Media funded and run by women; new content daily.

Sarah Kurchak

Written by

Author of I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder (April 2020, Douglas & McIntyre). Covers autism and pop culture. Loves wrestling.

The Establishment

The conversation is much more interesting when everyone has a voice. Media funded and run by women; new content daily.

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