Leonard Nimoy passed away last month, February 27th, due to complications from end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Nimoy played Spock for the Star Trek franchise.
The next day following Nimoy’s passing, William Shatner took to his Twitter account to post that he won’t be attending Leonard Nimoy’s funeral, but instead, would be attending a charity dinner.
The news saw some on the internet explode with outrage as they claimed Shatner was doing the wrong thing by attending an exclusive expensive dinner instead of paying respects to Nimoy’s legacy and family.
The Hollywood trade sites then reported that Shatner had arrived Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles, with the various articles spinning it like Shatner grabbed an earlier flight and would be attending Nimoy’s funeral.
However, that doesn’t appear to be the case as in a tribute on StarTrek.com, Shatner offers that he thinks Nimoy would have done the same thing, and that would be not attending a friend’s funeral to go to a upscale Red Cross dinner.
Shatner also didn’t attend the funeral of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.
The Red Cross had asked me some months ago to appear, and they built the evening around the celebrity appearance. Leonard died and, faced with that choice, I didn’t think anybody would notice one way or the other, quite frankly. But on Friday, when I was in Florida, I thought I’d better say something on Twitter. So I said, “I’m honoring the dead, but I’m celebrating the living by doing a good deed.” I didn’t think that anybody would notice. Well, everyone got into a debate. But to my mind there’s no debate. You and I right now are celebrating Leonard’s memory, but we’re not raising any money for people who are suffering. But in that case I could celebrate his memory and raise money. At that event, which was a 1,000-person dinner, I said, “I’d like to take a moment and remember Leonard and Maurice Hurley.” I didn’t know yet about Harve Bennett. So I had about 1,000 people think about Leonard and Maurice. To me there was no question about what I had to do.
And you’re assuming that Leonard would have understood and that he’d probably have done the same thing?
SHATNER: Absolutely. At least I hope he would have.
— Page Six (@PageSix) March 1, 2015