Star Trek Beyond producer JJ Abrams is incredulous that George Takei raised objections to the character of Sulu being revealed to be gay in the new film.
‘I feel that George Takei’s reaction ― I’m sure has more to do with George Takei, and the baggage he brings to the proceedings,’ Abrams tells Huffington Post.
‘I think it may be his perception of having played a character a certain way. It might mean something personally to him. I have nothing but respect for the man, but I think it’s a preposterous thing for, of all people, a Star Trek actor — who’s come out himself — to say that (creator) Gene Roddenberry wouldn’t have wanted this.’
The openly gay Takei played Sulu in the original Star Trek TV show and initial series of feature films. He said in an interview it was ‘really unfortunate’ and he was disappointed in the revelation because it would mean Sulu was closeted in the series. Takei himself was closeted until coming out publicly in 2005.
Takei has since sought to clarify his original comments with a Facebook post which stated in part that he is not disappointed in a Star trek character being gay and that ‘it is thrilling to know that future generations will not see LGBTs go wholly unrepresented in the Trek universe.’
Abrams believes a Star Trek character would have been gay in the TV series or earlier films had it been allowed by the powers that be.
He calls the Sulu being gay revelation ‘classic Roddenberry.’
‘I don’t know what or why George Takei would take issue with it,’ Abrams says. ‘I understand he’s backtracked a little bit. But I love the way [writers] Simon Pegg, Doug Jung and [director] Justin Lin did it. Doug Jung, who’s the co-writer, actually plays the husband of Sulu. I think it’s something I’m really proud of.’
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