Earlier today, the news broke that Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu, portrayed by John Cho in the rebooted Star Trek franchise, would be revealed as gay in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond. But original series Sulu George Takei says he’s not happy with the change.
Takei, an actor and LGBT activist, told the Hollywood Reporter that while he’s excited that there is an LGBT character in Star Trek, making Sulu gay is out of step with creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision.
“I’m delighted that there’s a gay character,” Takei told The Hollywood Reporter. “Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”
Takei said Roddenberry had always envisioned Sulu as heterosexual. Screenwriter Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin had perceived the change as a tribute to Takei, who came out in 2005. But when Cho told him the news, Takei tried to convince them not to make the change.
“I told him, ‘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,'” Takei told the Hollywood Reporter.
Takei said he urged Lin to honor Roddenberry’s creation. “He left me feeling that was going to happen,” Takei told the Hollywood Reporter.
But a month ago, he found out in an email from Cho that the film would still portray Sulu as gay. Takei told Cho to go ahead with the promotion for the movie. However, he said that he hadn’t changed his mind about the matter.