Tuesday 21 January 2020

Star Trek's George Takei fears return of internment camps if US elects Trump

George Takei played Sulu in the 1960s Star Trek series
George Takei played Sulu in the 1960s Star Trek series

Star Trek actor George Takei has said he fears the internment he suffered as a child could be repeated for others if Donald Trump is elected US president.

Takei and his family were among the 120,000 Japanese-Americans forced to leave their homes following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941, which brought the US into the Second World War.

His time in internment camps was the subject of his Broadway show Allegiance, but Takei has said he is worried it could be a reality again.

He told the Press Association: " Allegiance was a legacy project. It's an under-appreciated part of history, we were looked at with suspicion and fear and hatred. We were rounded up and imprisoned and left impoverished.

"So little is known of that time and so we don't learn the lesson and now i t could be repeated again with Donald Trump. If he's elected, it could happen again."

He added: "Between the ages of five and nine I was imprisoned and afterwards I began reading a lot but I couldn't find anything about it in the history books.

"After dinner one day I engaged my father in conversation, who told me we lost our home, we lost our freedom, we suffered all kinds of indignity, but American democracy is a people's democracy.

"We have a quality of doing great things.

"All men are created equal, we have the right to life, liberty and freedom but people are also fallible, we make terrible, horrible, disastrous mistakes, Our democracy is dependent on people who cherish those ideals and engaging in them."

However, Takei remains optimistic that Hillary Clinton will triumph on November 8 when the United States goes to the polls.

He said: "I am betting on November 8 we will have a historic occasion of a first woman. I am confident.

"The alternative of Donald Trump is unthinkable. It would be the end of the United States as we know it."

Takei, 79, found fame as Sulu first in the Star Trek TV show 50 years ago, and then in a second life on the big screen.

He said: " It's an undreamed-of celebration, the 50th anniversary of a show that was initially unrated.

"It wasn't the Klingons that were the biggest adversary, it was programming executives but then they syndicated us every night.

"In 1977 Star Wars opened and exploded at the box office and they wanted in on that action. In 1979, 10 years after we were cancelled we were back on the big screen.

"The audience was able to age along with us. It was a gradual, natural ageing process."

Asked whether he might still appear in the reboot of the franchise, which saw a third instalment earlier this year, Takei said: " Anything is possible, everything is possible. Star Trek continues to live long."

The Star Trek 50th anniversary TV and movie collection blu-ray boxset is out now.

PA Media

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