George Takei is now clarifying his comments on Star Trek Beyond's Sulu character, after he called the decision to make him gay "really unfortunate" in an interview last week. In a lengthy Facebook statement, he explained the headlines about his previous comments were "misleading":
"When the news first broke, I gave a lengthy telephone interview, but the headlines have been misleading. Apparently, controversy makes for better sales! Let me be clear: I am 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."
The actor, who played Sulu in the Star Trek film and television series, continued to say that he hoped the original characters' backgrounds would be honored.
"How exciting it would be instead if a new hero might be created, whose story could be fleshed out from scratch, rather than reinvented. To me, this would have been even more impactful. 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."
Read Takei's full Facebook statement below:
John Cho, who is playing Sulu in Star Trek Beyond, said at a press event that the whole situation isn't a big deal:
John Cho on gay Sulu at Beyond presser: "It's kind of news now, but if you re-watch the movie in 10 yrs, you won't think anything about it."— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) July 14, 2016