AceShowbiz - Simon Pegg and Zachary Quinto, the stars of "Star Trek Beyond", have heard that George Takei was not thrilled about John Cho's Sulu being gay in the upcoming movie. The two actors disagree with the 79-year-old actor who played the character in the original 1960s television series.
While Takei was "delighted that there's a gay character," he believed it's "unfortunate" because a gay Sulu would take the character away from what Gene Roddenberry originally envisioned for him. Instead of making Sulu gay, Takei said "Star Trek Beyond" should create a new LGBT character.
Pegg who stars in and co-writes the movie responds to Takei's comments in a statement, "I have huge love and respect for George Takei, his heart, courage and humor are an inspiration. 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 and isn't that tokenism?"
"[Director] Justin Lin, [screenwriter] 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. Their sexual orientation is just one of many personal aspects, not the defining characteristic," Pegg explains.
"Also, the audience would infer that there has been an LGBT presence in the Trek Universe from the beginning (at least in the Kelvin timeline), that a gay hero isn't something new or strange. It's also important to note that at no point do we suggest that our Sulu was ever closeted, why would he need to be? It's just hasn't come up before."
Pegg also argues, "I don't believe Gene Roddenberry's decision to make the prime timeline's Enterprise crew straight was an artistic one, more a necessity of the time. Trek rightly gets a lot of love for featuring the first interracial kiss on US television but 'Plato's Stepchildren' was the lowest rated episode ever. The viewing audience weren't open minded enough at the time and it must have forced Roddenberry to modulate his innovation."
He adds, "His mantra was always 'infinite diversity in infinite combinations.' If he could have explored Sulu's sexuality with George, he no doubt would have. Roddenberry was a visionary and a pioneer but we choose our battles carefully."
"Whatever magic ingredient determines our sexuality was different for Sulu in our timeline," Pegg continues. "I like this idea because it suggests that in a hypothetical multiverse, across an infinite matrix of alternate realities, we are all LGBT somewhere. Whatever dimension we inhabit, we all just want to be loved by those we love. I can't speak for every reality but that must surely true of this one. Live long and prosper."
Meanwhile, openly-gay Quinto who plays Spock slams Takei, "As a member of the LGBT community myself, I was disappointed by the fact that George was disappointed. I get it that he's has had his own personal journey and has his own personal relationship with this character but, you know, as we established in the first Star Trek film in 2009, we've created an alternate universe."
The actor adds, "My hope is that eventually George can be strengthened by the enormously positive response from especially young people who are heartened by and inspired by this really tasteful and beautiful portrayal of something that I think is gaining acceptance and inclusion in our societies across the world, and should be."