Worf Actor Rejects ‘Discovery’ Appearance Over Money

By April 13, 2017
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How badly did CBS want Michael Dorn to pop into its new Star Trek series to more or less give it his Klingon blessing?

Not enough to pay him, apparently.

Dorn, best known for playing Lt. Cmdr. Worf in both Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, reportedly told an audience in Orlando, Florida he was offered a role in Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access, but he turned it down when they refused to pay him anywhere near what he’s received for playing Worf in the past.

The news came after what is said to be a misquote of Dorn during the Orlando event, where he was appearing on stage as Mark Antony. During a question-and-answer session with the artistic director of the Shakespeare theater there, Sci-Fi Pulse writer Tye Bourdony claimed Dorn announced he would appear in Discovery — something Dorn’s publicity team immediately shot down.

While Dorn’s attempts to get (a Worf-centered Star Trek series) up and running have, to date, been uneventful, Dorn did say that Trek fans would, in fact, get to see him appear as a guest star in the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery, as a Klingon ancestor of Lt. Cmdr. Worf, saying, “The first episodes of the new series center around the Klingons.”

Such a move is not without precedent, however. Dorn actually played a Worf ancestor in 1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, which takes place nearly a century before TNG and DS9. It gave the actor a chance to work with William Shatner and DeForest Kelley, whose characters were on trial for the assassination of the Klingon chancellor.

TrekMovie‘s Anthony Pascale, however, debunked that claim not only through Dorn’s publicist, but also through at least one of the other attendees of the weekend event — Orlando Sentinel theater critic Matt Palm — who told the site Dorn absolutely was misquoted by Sci-Fi Pulse.

I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that Mr. Dorn did not say he was going to be on the new Star Trek show. In fact, he went to great lengths explaining why he would not be on the new show — that there had been interest expressed, but he was not offered enough money.

He said they had offered him less than 1 percent of what he made in his last contract as Worf.”

It’s not clear if Dorn was referring to his last actual contract with the character, or his last television contract with Worf. Dorn portrayed Worf a final time, at least in canon, in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis, although he did voice Worf in 2010 in the online computer game Star Trek: Online.

Sci-Fi Pulse updated its story (and apparently deleted some comments), saying the site is “not in the habit of posting fake news” and that it “certainly wouldn’t do so deliberately.”

Bourdony is described on Sci-Fi Pulse as a “co-owned” and the “U.S.-based content editor” for the site. He works by day as a family mediator in the Florida court system, and is a law school graduate from Barry University, as well as a cartoonist and columnist.

Ian Cullen, who remains listed as the owner of the site, has yet to return a request for comment sent early Wednesday.

Disclaimer: GeekNation managing editor Michael Hinman and Sci-Fi Pulse owner Ian Cullen have been acquaintances since the late 1990s, and Cullen is one of the original visitors to Hinman’s original news outlet, SyFy World (which later became SyFy Portal).

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.