Thu, Dec 8, 2016 | updated 03:24 PM IST

George Takei takes issue with his 'Star Trek' character being gay

Updated: Jul 10, 2016 14:23 IST
Washington D.C, Jul 10 (ANI): Looks like 'Star Trek Beyond's decision to make Hikaru Sulu gay has failed to impress the original cast member, George Takei, from the 1960s TV series.

The move is a clear homage to the 79-year-old actor, who publicly came out in 2005 after then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage in California.

Takei told The Hollywood Reporter, "I'm delighted that there's a gay character. [But] unfortunately, it's a twisting of Gene's [Roddenberry] creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it's really unfortunate."

The actor went on to explain how fastidious Roddenberry was in his character creation, Sulu being named after the Sulu Sea off the coast of the Philippines, and that the 'Star Trek' creator always saw Sulu as heterosexual.

On learning about Sulu's changed sexuality, he implored the producers to: "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."

According to Takei, he lobbied the ' Star Trek Beyond' director Justin Lin not to make Sulu gay in the film, which was co-written by Doug Yung and Simon Pegg, who also plays Scotty. But the filmmakers went ahead with the twist, which is revealed in a scene that shows Sulu with a husband and daughter.

Simon Pegg has since responded to the Guardian, saying: "I have huge love and respect for George Takei, his heart, courage and humour are an inspiration. However, with regards to his thoughts on our Sulu, I must respectfully disagree with him."

He added, "He's right, it is unfortunate, it's unfortunate that the screen version of the most inclusive, tolerant universe in science fiction hasn't featured an LGBT character until now. We could have introduced a new gay character, but he or she would have been primarily defined by their sexuality, seen as the ' gay character', rather than simply for who they are, and isn't that tokenism?"

The movie is set to hit the theatres on July 22, 2016. (ANI)