Elon Musk Pushes Back on William Shatner’s Twitter Blue Complaint: ‘There Shouldn’t Be a Different Standard for Celebrities’

The ”Star Trek“ legend tagged the CEO in a Saturday tweet, questioning, ”You’re telling me that I have to pay for something you gave me for free?“

William Shatner attends the "You Can Call Me Bill" world premiere during 2023 SXSW
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

In his latest bold move to defend his floundering social media platform, Twitter CEO Elon Musk this weekend took to telling celebrities that he doesn’t think they’re so special – this time directly to their face. In a Sunday night tweet defending his decision to remove unpaid blue checkmarks from accounts for celebrities and other public figures, Musk pushed back on none other than Captain James T. Kirk himself, William Shatner.

Part of Musk’s business strategy since purchasing the platform in October 2022 for $44 billion has been to even the playing field between verified and unverified users, believing that the blue check that traditionally comes with accounts belonging to public figures sets a left-leaning, elitist hierarchy on the site that he wants to do away with. While the fix to that hierarchy has seen its fair share of hiccups along the way, including a period of time when anyone could go blue and impersonate a celebrity, Musk announced last week that he’s doing away with unpaid verifications altogether.

“On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks. To keep your blue checkmark on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue here,” Twitter’s account, Twitter Verified, tweeted Thursday.

Shatner didn’t love the sound of that. The 92-year-old entertainer tweeted to his 2.5 million followers on Saturday, tagging Musk in his complaint.

“Hey @elonmusk what’s this about blue checks going away unless we pay Twitter? I’ve been here for 15 years giving my ⏰ & witty thoughts all for bupkis,” he wrote. “Now you’re telling me that I have to pay for something you gave me for free? What is this – the Colombia Records & Tape Club??”

Musk let the tweet sit for a little over 24 hours before responding Sunday evening, quote-tweeting Shatner and saying, “It’s more about treating everyone equally. There shouldn’t be a different standard for celebrities imo.”

Shatner has yet to respond back to Musk, but by the looks of it, even one of the most beloved space adventurers couldn’t persuade Musk to reconsider what some have even been calling a cruel April Fool’s joke.

The kerfuffle came directly following Musk’s continued uphill battle to make Twitter a financially sound investment. According to a senior reporter at The Verge, the CEO told employees on March 25 that the company is now valued at $20 billion, less than half of what he paid just shy of six months ago.