Despite a since-removed Facebook ad suggesting he was dead, William Shatner has not boldly gone to the final frontier.
After a fan notified the science-fiction icon on Twitter about an ad from Avocet Retail Sales with Shatner’s photo and the text “Fans will always hold a special place for ‘Captain Kirk’, after William was found . . . ” and “Beloved Sci-Fi Actor Found D . . . ,” Shatner responded. “Hey @facebook,” tweeted the star, who turned 87 on Thursday, “isn’t this your messenger app? What’s up with you allowing this Acocet [sic] Retail Sales ad to pass your muster? Thought you were doing something about this?”
Rob Leathern, Facebook’s director of product management, replied soon afterward, “Hi, I’m from Facebook. Thanks for letting us know about this. We have removed this ad and Page from Facebook.” As of Thursday, the Avocet Retail Sales Facebook page carries the standard text “Sorry, this content isn’t available at the moment.” No Twitter account could be found for the company.
It was unclear which of several firms named Avocet — the species name for a type of long-legged shorebird — was the culprit. Avocet Sales & Marketing of Oakland, California and Avocet Sports of the United Kingdom did not respond to Newsday requests for comments. An email sent to Avocet Sports’ American office in Palo Alto, California, was returned as undeliverable. A representative for the marketing firm Avocet Communications in Colorado said in a statement it “has no association with Avocet Retail Sales. … We are all quite happy to know that Mr. Shatner is indeed alive and doing well! May he live long and prosper.”
Shatner responded to Leathern, writing, “Thank you. I’m not planning on dying so please continue to block those kinds of ads.” When one Twitter commenter trolled the Facebook executive, writing, “Consider working somewhere else,” Shatner came to Leathern’s defense: “Hey @jrazzano ENOUGH of that! If I see anyone hassling Rob you are reported and blocked!” Leathern thanked the star and wished him happy birthday.
Shatner — whose most recent screen project, the NBC reality show “Better Late Than Never,” concluded its second season last month — will be the headline guest at Eternal Con at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on June 16 and 17.