Autistic History autistic self advocacy network Celebrities & Stigma Culture & Community Non-Autistic Advocates & Allies steve silberman william shatner

How William Shatner Betrayed Autistic People’s Trust

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

Source: How William Shatner Betrayed Autistic People’s Trust


A number of autistic people ran down these objections for Shatner, enjoining him to rethink his profile picture. He told them to go start their own charity before blocking them. When he was informed that autistic people had, in fact, started their own organizations, notably the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, he retorted that ASAN’s only agenda was attacking Autism Speaks, repeatedly accused ASAN founder Ari Ne’eman of misrepresenting him, and then blocked Ne’eman, too. He also blocked noted allies David Perry and Steve Silberman, author of Neurotribes, for trying to reason with him. That’s the point at which I realized we were where no man had gone before; abled people are usually much better about shutting up and listening to disability issues when their fellow “normals” get involved. But Shatner wasn’t hearing anything from anyone. As I write this, he’s still blathering on and lashing out, essentially portraying himself as the victim because autistic people dared to demand a say in our own damned awareness.

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