Set Phasers to Fail: Podcaster Redshirts after Shatner Death Twish

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Shatner and LLAPawsper

There's a secret about Twitter that a surprising number of people haven't figured out yet. It's not just a leading social media tool, a great way to promote your brand, and a fun way to connect with people who share common (or uncommon) interests -- it's also public and "out loud" and whatever you say on it is seen by everyone and, if archived, lasts forever. Many have been the times an unwary person has spoken in anger, in jest, in drunken carelessness, only to find they've become an overnight sensation or a symbol of infamy.

Such seems to be the case when Star Trek fan, Heather Rae, took to Twitter with her "Hot Take."

Perhaps to play things safe, the tweet tagged in the person who was dead and was least likely to respond, whereas Shatner was sub-tweeted so that the message would not show up in his timeline.

But nothing happens in a vacuum, particularly if you happen to be a participant in a fan podcast for a franchise like Star Trek. As it turned out, Heather was part of such a podcast, called The Tricorder Transmissions. Fans saw the tweet and interpreted as a death twish (a "tweeted wish" that usually results in backlash) on Shatner. And it was, but one that was also tied in with a resurrection wish for Leonard Nimoy, and barring any Faust-level interference, that was unlikely to happen. It's still not nice, but it's not really a threat either. It's just really poor taste.

And Heather Rae was told so by the fandom. Repeatedly. With gusto and colorful vocabulary.

Rae later responded to the outcry, but it was a case where the apology was nearly as troublesome as the faux pas.

Friends came to Heather's defense, but more often than not, their own words were more directed at Shatner, who took umbrage at the tweet and said so. Those close to Heather, like user RadMissFliss,  saw this as "punching down" because of Shatner's celebrity status and tried to paint him as the bully in the scenario.

There's more to unpack in that defense than there was in the original Tweet. Apparently not only is Heather immune from reprisal because of her orientation, she's also such a close friend that she gets relegated to the role of 'a random person.' She would later go on to tweet that she was not defending Heather's tweet, but believed Shatner to be a bully for responding and having a larger fan base.

Eventually, Heather Rae privatized her Twitter account, and through Tricorder Transmissions announced her stepping away from the podcast.

Shatner, never one to back down from a Twitter fight and, to our knowledge, never one to lose one (he took down the blue-checked The Illuminati, for crying out loud!), was having none of the feels shared by Tricorder Transmissions, however.

But despite his terse criticisms, Shatner seemed for the most part to take the whole thing in stride, even being able to sardonically joke about the thing with his Twitter followers.