'I think it’s really unfortunate' - George Takei on Sulu being gay in new Star Trek flick
Published 08/07/2016 | 11:33
George Takei has revealed that he is unhappy with the decision to make his character Hikarau Sulu gay in the upcoming Star Trek film.
Takei, who came out as gay in 2005 and is a passionate LBGT activist, played Sulu in the Star Trek films and TV series for over four decades.
The 79-year-old said that that while he’s happy there will be a gay character in the new film, he feels that the introduction will distort the original character.
“I’m delighted that there’s a gay character,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
“Unfortunately, it's a twisting of Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry's creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it's really unfortunate.”
The idea came from actor and screenwriter Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin, who both wanted to honour Takei’s legacy as an actor and LBGT activist in the film.
Takei told the magazine that when he first learned Sulu would be portrayed as gay by John Cho in this summer’s release, he encouraged Lin to “create a new character” and pay homage to what Roddenberry had created.
"I told him, 'Be imaginative and create a character who has a history of being gay, rather than Sulu, who had been straight all this time, suddenly being revealed as being closeted.'”
Takei revealed that he spoke to Roddenberry in 1968 about the introduction of a gat character, and while Rodenberry was “a strong supporter of LGBT equality,” he felt that he would be walking on a tightrope and risk the show being cancelled.
Sulu’s revelation will mark the introduction of the first LBGT character in Star Trek’s 60 year history.