Shatner calls for Reddit to beam homophobia up and away
Legendary Star Trek actor William Shatner has called out social news network Reddit for allowing large sections of the site to be “horrifically” homophobic and has suggested it undergo a revamp lest it be remembered as the first “mainstream site” to allow hate mongers a convenient place to spread bigotry.
The Canadian-born actor, who will be 82 in March, only joined the site last month after agreeing to take part in an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session similar to one hosted by US President Barack Obama last year.
Following an initial post asking Reddit administrators how he could turn off the private message function, Shatner said he was becoming increasingly worried by the sheer amount of juvenile posts as well as the distinct lack of moderating of obviously racist, sexist and homophobic comments.
“I am apalled [sic] by some of the immature, horrifically racist, sexist, homophobic, ethnic... etc.. posts that are just ignored," Shatner wrote in the post thread.
“Why are these accounts still active? While Reddit has done well in getting interest from the mainstream I just wonder if by allowing these children to run rampant and post whatever they feel will cause the most collateral damage if Reddit is biting off it’s own nose in taking that step to become a mainstream community.”
Shatner said some subreddits – sections of the site devoted to a particular topic – were completely filled with comments veering towards hate speech.
“What mainstream sites do you think are more racist?” Shatner asked.
“The fact that someone could come here, debase and degrade people based on race, religion, ethnicity or sexual preference because they ‘have a right’ to do so without worry of any kind of moderation is sending the wrong message, in my humble opinion.”
It seems large sections of the Reddit community agree, with Shatner’s post already receiving over 1,600 upvotes making the thread more prominent on the site.
The much-loved actor remains close to his Star Trek cast mate, George Takei, who played Sulu in the iconic 1960s television program and has since become an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights after publicly coming out as gay in 2005.