Zachary Quinto has responded with some fairly pissed-off fire to George Takei‘s comments earlier today on the news that his original Star Trek character, Hiraku Sulu, is gay in the new Star Trek: Beyond film.
“As a member of the LGBT community myself, I was disappointed by the fact that George was disappointed,” he told PEDESTRIAN.TV today. “I think any member of the LGBT community that takes issue with the normalised and positive portrayal of members of our community in Hollywood and in mainstream blockbuster cinema…”
Earlier today Takei told The Hollywood Reporter that he thought it was “unfortunate” that Sulu (played by John Cho in the reboots) was revealed to be gay because it went against the canon established by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.
“I’m delighted that there’s a gay character,” he 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.”
Cho and writer Simon Pegg (who also plays Scotty in the film) had decided to make such a strong statement about Sulu as a homage to Takei; after all, Takei himself first suggested to Roddenberry in 1968 that they bring the character out of the closet. (Roddenberry, facing declining viewership, felt he just couldn’t take the risk.)
When Cho spoke to P.TV earlier today, he was extremely diplomatic, saying that Takei’s reasons – though he might not agree with them – were fair.
But Quinto was having none of it. He told P.TV:
“I get it. He [Takei] 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, and 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.”
“Come on, George.”
Star Trek: Beyond opens in cinemas July 21; get pumped with the trailer below.