Gay rights activist George Takei doesn't approve of 'Star Trek's Mr. Sulu being gay
When Star Trek actor John Cho revealed in an interview Thursday that his character, Hikaru Sulu, would become the nearly 50-year-old franchise's first openly gay character in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, a lot of people considered it a flattering nod to the original Mr. Sulu, George Takei.
But while much of the internet celebrated the news of a gay Sulu, Takei, who came out as gay in 2005, wasn't so thrilled about it. The 79-year-old actor told The Hollywood Reporter that while he's "delighted that there's a gay character," he doesn't think it should have been Sulu, or any of the original characters.
"Unfortunately, it's a twisting of Gene's creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it's really unfortunate," Takei said, referring to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's original intentions for Sulu.
Takei reportedly shared his apprehensions over a gay Sulu when he heard the news from Cho last year that Sulu would have a husband in the next film. Takei also advised Beyond director Justin Lin to create a new, gay character when Lin called him about it, THR reported.
Actor Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty and co-wrote the screenplay for Star Trek Beyond with Doug Jung, told The Guardian that he disagrees with Takei.
"Justin Lin, Doug Jung and I loved the idea of it being someone we already knew because the audience have a pre-existing opinion of that character as a human being, unaffected by any prejudice," Pegg said. "Their sexual orientation is just one of many personal aspects, not the defining characteristic."
Takei, who spoke at the University of South Florida earlier this year, has been an outspoken activist for LGBT rights and diversity in Hollywood for years.
Star Trek Beyond opens in theaters July 21.