Star Trek actor William Shatner waded into a generational row last night as he took aim at the catchphrase ‘OK Boomer’ and feuded with a Twitter user who had blamed older people for millennial ‘hardships’.
The jibe ‘OK Boomer’ has become popular among millennials and the younger Generation Z, who use it to show exasperation with older people and their opinions.
One Twitter user aimed it at Shatner yesterday but the Hollywood veteran, who was born in 1931, fired back: ‘Sweetheart, that’s a compliment for me.’
Warming to his theme, Shatner said he would ‘wear that badge with honor’ and embarked on a heated row with a millennial user, eventually calling her ‘divaesque’.
Heated row: Star Trek actor William Shatner, pictured in Cannes, Frances, last month, waded into a generational row on Twitter yesterday
Shatner, 88, is not a Baby Boomer – the generation born in the aftermath of World War II – but the phrase has been used mockingly against older people in general.
His Twitter row erupted on Wednesday after he had sent a mocking tweet to another user in a separate conversation.
One user, going by the name of Billie E, responded with the clapback: ‘OK Boomer’.
Her has fewer than 200 followers and the tweet earned only eight likes, but Shatner quickly seized on the jibe.
‘Sweetheart, that’s a compliment for me,’ he wrote, triggering a largely supportive response from his followers.
Billie E defended herself, saying she was ‘not really into pejoratives, but what’s the term for people when they can’t interpret a joke?’.
Shatner could not resist another dig at that, answering: ‘Millennials?’.
The actor expanded on his point when another user chimed in to say they were ‘already sick of this OK Boomer nonsense’.
Wading in: Shatner, 88, said he felt complimented when the catchphrase ‘OK Boomer’ was used against him, and then took a jibe at millennials
‘I feel it’s like one of those childish insults in fandom that seem to affect the delicate types to the point they meltdown and go over the rest of our heads as something ridiculous,’ he said.
‘If the person posting it thinks they are making a dig; they are the fools.’
Another user, Courtney DeCamp, defended the term by saying it was not applied to all older people but only to ‘ignorant ones’.
Shatner waded in again, asking: ‘And just what are we ignorant about Courtney?
‘We don’t understand struggles? War? Depressions (economic not personal)? Inflation? Double digit Prime Interest rates?’.
DeCamp retorted that millennials had inherited ‘hardships [which] are not their fault’ and which many older people did not understand.
But Shatner was having none of it, asking: ‘Is that all your generation does is point fingers and blame others for their pity parties?’
Anger: The Hollywood veteran said the youthful jibe of ‘OK Boomer’ was a ‘childish insult’
In a lengthy exchange, some of which is seen above, Shatner argued with a Twitter user called Courtney DeCamp and eventually labelled her ‘divaesque’
‘You don’t get a participation trophy for life; you take what you get and play your best hand. It’s been that way since forever,’ he said.
Some users came to Shatner’s defense by calling DeCamp ‘entitled’ and questioning her claim of millennial hardships.
The row continued for several more tweets as DeCamp denied she had been targeting Shatner specifically, but the actor took her grammar to task by pointing out she had used a plural term.
DeCamp went on to ask Shatner ‘why are you so offended by a phrase that can’t possibly pertain to you’ because of his age.
‘I said I’d wear that badge with honor,’ Shatner replied last night – several hours after the row had first erupted.
‘Unlike you; the generations designation doesn’t define me nor am I too worried about getting labeled because it makes no difference to me.
‘You seemed to be obsessed; blaming other gens. Some millennials are pushing 40. You aren’t kids.’
In a final retort, he said: ‘Her bio says she’s an actress. No production wants someone who blames their situation on everyone else. That’s Divaesque.
Viral moment: New Zealand politician Chlöe Swarbrick (pictured), 25, used the phrase ‘OK Boomer’ in the country’s parliament
‘She entitled to her opinion but she isn’t doing herself any favors by pretending she’s siding with millennials while pretending she’s not one.’
DeCamp had disputed that she was a millennial, though Shatner said she had graduated high school in 2003 and she did not challenge the claim.
Millennials are defined by the US Census Bureau as people born between 1982 and 2000, although there are other definitions. Generation Z is the subsequent cohort.
Before millennials, there was Generation X, then the Baby Boomers, then the so-called Silent Generation who were growing up during World War II.
The term ‘OK Boomer’ has gained traction on apps such as TikTok which have a predominantly young user base.
It has recently come to wider attention and yesterday a New Zealand politician used it during a speech in the country’s parliament.
Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick deployed the phrase to silence another MP who had interrupted her speech about climate change.