Star Trek actor Zachary Quinto has criticised comments by George Takei about the decision to reveal that character Mr Sulu is gay in the next instalment of the sci-fi franchise.
It comes after Star Trek legend Takei, who played the character in the original series, said that while he’s “delighted” that there will be a gay character in the film, he feels that the decision instead not to simply introduce a new LGBT character is “really unfortunate”.
Actor John Cho, who plays Sulu in the reboot films, recently said that the character will be revealed to be gay in Star Trek: Beyond.
The development in Sulu’s character is believed to be a nod to Takei by director Justin Lin and writer/star Simon Pegg. Takei came out as gay in 2005, and later claimed that he would have struggled to find work as a gay Asian-American if he had revealed his sexuality while filming the show during the 1960’s.
Now Quinto, who plays Mr Spock in the reboot films, has told PEDESTRIAN.TV: “As a member of the LGBT community myself, I was disappointed by the fact that George was disappointed.
“I get it that he’s 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.
“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.”
Last week, Pegg also disagreed with Takei’s comments. He added: “With regards to his thoughts on our Sulu, I must respectfully disagree with him.”
“We could have introduced a new gay character, but he or she would have been primarily defined by their sexuality, seen as the ‘gay character’, rather than simply for who they are, and isn’t that tokenism?”
Pegg went on to say that he “loved the idea of it being someone we already knew because the audience have a pre-existing opinion of that character as a human being, unaffected by any prejudice. Their sexual orientation is just one of many personal aspects, not the defining characteristic.”