Sunday, July 19, 2009
William Shatner's technically correct toupee denial: a ruling from the Shat-no-meter.
In a May 2008 interview with the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, William Shatner voluntarily denied that he was wearing a toupee. But to get to that point, we begin with the corset (the other rumor!) :
"Actually, I wasn't wearing a corset,' he corrects. 'I had fallen off a horse and broken some ribs. I had to be strapped up and some kind soul told the tabloids I'd got so beefy that I needed a corset to get into Kirk's costume.' Shatner smiles broadly, his earlier introspective mood erased. 'And no, it isn't a toupée,' he says, tugging his hair."
Now, according to the Shat-no-Meter, Bill is being a little clever in his wording here. The fact that he does not have a full head of his own hair is beyond doubt. We also suspect that he has had a hair transplant in recent years (or some other form of drastic change from his previous Trek movie-era hair - the jury's still out. UPDATE: See here for our latest findings suggesting it's still a toup) - from curly long to shorter hair more naturally attached to the scalp.
That being the case, the hair that Bill was tugging on during the interview was indeed likely not a toupee per se - as a toupee is technically a hairpiece or partial wig and that is something that Shatner no longer needs to wear. Is a hair system a hairpiece?
But the wording is revealing: "And no, it isn't a toupée."
The use of the word "it" is calculated and avoids having to commit to a broader claim, such as "I have never worn a toupee." Shatner is merely pointing out that what is on his head at that moment is not a toupee ("it's a hair system" perhaps?) and in that sense he is correct - but he very carefully does not deny that he has ever worn one in the past, and in that kind of wordplay, he is being a little disingenuous. Nonetheless, we rate his statement to be "Mostly True".
UPDATE: See here for our latest findings suggesting it's still a toup, which would shift this ruling into the "barely true" category - the argument, from Bill Shatner's theoretical perspective, being that a "hair system" doesn't necessarily qualify as a toupee.