George Takei clarifies comments about gay Sulu in 'Star Trek'
Actor George Takei has clarified why he disagreed with the makers of "Star Trek" on making the character of Sulu, which he once played, as gay in their next film.
Los Angeles: Actor George Takei has clarified why he disagreed with the makers of "Star Trek" on making the character of Sulu, which he once played, as gay in their next film.
The 79-year-old actor and LGBT activist, in a lengthy Facebook post, said his comments were taken out-of-context.
The actor, who played Hikaru Sulu in the original 1960s TV show and the subsequent movies that featured the original cast, said he is "not disappointed that there is a gay character in Star Trek".
"On the contrary, as I made clear, I am delighted that the Star Trek franchise has addressed this issue, which is truly one of diversity. It is thrilling to know that future generations will not see LGBTs go wholly unrepresented in the Trek universe," he said.
Takei said he merely wanted that creator Gene Roddenberry's original characters should be left and rather the makers should introduce a new gay character as the franchise celebrates its 50 years.
"While I understand that we are in an alternate timeline with the new Trek movies, for me it seemed less than necessary to tinker with an existing character in order to fulfill Gene's hope of a truly diverse Trek universe. And while I am flattered that the character of Sulu apparently was selected as an homage to me, this was never about me or what I wanted. It was about being true to Gene's vision and storytelling."
Takei said Gene did want to include LGBT characters but the times were not conducive to such ideas at that time and they even had to censor "TV's first interracial kiss, between Kirk and Uhura" in south as it "caused our ratings to plummet".
"So the lack of gay characters was not some oversight by him; it was a conscious decision with which he grappled."
Takei ended his post by wishing actor John Cho, who is the new Sulu in the movie franchise. He also congratulated Simon Pegg on his daring and groundbreaking storytelling.
"While I would have gone with the development of a new character in this instance, I do fully understand and appreciate what they are doing?as ever, boldly going where no one has gone before," he said.
In the new "Star Trek" movie, Sulu is seen with a male spouse raising their infant child.