If you told me just 24 hours ago I would be writing a commentary right now disagreeing with George Takei, I would probably laugh you out of the room.
Because I love George. Love him to death. Whenever I asked him to come on my old podcast “Alpha Waves Radio,” he was there. Every single time. And he’s a wonderful man, married to an equally wonderful man, Brad Altman.
This morning, however, two communities I’m a part of finally merged. And I was ecstatic. “Star Trek: Beyond” was finally going to have a gay character, and it wasn’t going to be some throw-away new person. Instead, “Beyond” writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung decided to take a different approach: Out one of the main characters.
And Hikaru Sulu, to them, was a perfect choice. And there’s two big reasons why. First, it pays homage to Takei himself, who became an equality advocate after coming out himself in 2005. Second, we really know very little about Sulu’s personal life, outside of the fact he had a daughter who showed up in “Star Trek: Generations” 22 years ago.
Simon Pegg was excited about it. “Beyond” director Justin Lin was excited about it. John Cho, who plays Sulu in the new movies, was excited about it. But the one person who I thought would be dancing in celebration, was instead letting all the air out of the party balloons. Yes, George Takei is against the character he originated a half-century ago being gay.