Oh my. George Takei, the actor and LGBT activist who originated the role of Mr. Sulu on Star Trek, has expressed disappointment over the news that a version of the character is revealed to be gay in the upcoming film Star Trek Beyond.
John Cho, who plays Sulu in the rebooted Star Trek movies, had said in an interview with the Herald Sun of Australia that the decision to portray his character as a gay man was intended as an homage to Takei, who is openly gay.
But Takei told the Hollywood Reporter that he opposes the decision to change Sulu’s sexuality because it contradicts Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s original vision. “I’m delighted that there’s a gay character,” Takei said. “Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”
According to Takei, he would have preferred that Cho and the filmmakers — including director Justin Lin and actor/co-writer Simon Pegg — created an all-new gay character. Takei also said he expressed his opinion several times in recent months, to no avail.
“I told [Cho], ‘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 said.
EW has reached out to representatives for Cho, Takei, and Paramount Pictures for comment and will update this post accordingly.