George Takei on turning Star Trek's Hikaru Sulu gay: 'It's a twisting of Gene's creation'

By Wade Sheridan  |  July 8, 2016 at 3:11 PM
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LOS ANGELES, July 8 (UPI) -- George Takei, who played Hikaru Sulu on the original Star Trek series, has spoken out against the character being revealed as gay in Paramount's upcoming film, Star Trek Beyond.

"I'm delighted that there's a gay character. Unfortunately, it's a twisting of Gene's creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it's really unfortunate," Takei told The Hollywood Reporter, referring to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

Actor John Cho, who now portrays Sulu, revealed recently that the character would be depicted as gay in Beyond as an homage to Takei, who came out in 2005.

Takei, however, says he was against the idea from the start, believing a new gay character should be invented instead. "I told him [Cho], '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,'" he further explained.

While speaking with The Guardian, Beyond star and screenwriter Simon Pegg said he didn't agree with Takei. "I have huge love and respect for George Takei, his heart, courage and humor are an inspiration," he said. "However, with regards to his thoughts on our Sulu, I must respectfully disagree with him."

"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," he continued.

Directed by Justin Lin, Star Trek Beyond blasts into theaters July 22.

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