Zachary Quinto is “Disappointed” in George Takei’s Response to ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Making Sulu Gay

By July 8, 2016

Yesterday, the Star Trek fandom was not only shocked and surprised to learn that not only was Star Trek Beyond going to reveal John Cho’s Sulu to be gay, with a male partner and their child, but even more so when George Takei, the original actor to play Sulu and who is openly gay himself, called the decision “unfortunate,” saying he wished that the filmmakers had chosen to introduce a new gay character, rather than “twisting” Gene Roddenberry’s original vision.

One of the film’s stars and its co-writer, who helped come up with the idea in the first place, Simon Pegg, commented on the news this morning in response to Takei’s disappointment, and it looks like another Beyond cast member is disappointed in Takei’s reaction as well.

While speaking with, Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock in the new films and is also a member of the LGBT community himself, shared his thoughts on Takei’s response to the news:

“I find as a member of the LGBT community myself, I was disappointed by the fact that George was disappointed. I get it that he’s had 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.”

I think the only thing that’s really inaccurate that Takei said, is that this version of Sulu would be coming out of the closet in the film, since as both Quinto and Pegg have pointed out now, the character was never in the closet in the first place, and this is just the first time the audience is seeing or hearing about it. With that being said, I can understand Takei’s wishes that they had introduced a new gay character rather than “changing” an original character to be gay.

On the other hand, Pegg did bring up a great point that they were looking to avoid defining a new character by just that one trait, which they inevitably would have been. I imagine that as the press tour for Beyond continues in the coming weeks though, we’re going to hear a lot more about this topic from all of the cast members probably and the creative team as well, so I don’t think this is the last we’ve heard about this news.

Star Trek Beyond is set to hit theatres on July 22nd.

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Alex Welch

Alex Welch

Alex dreams of meeting a girl with a yellow umbrella, and spends too much time* staring at a movie screen. His vocabulary consists mostly of movie quotes and 80s song lyrics. *Debatable
  • Jon S Colesanti

    This is horseshit, George hit it spot on. Instead of being original and making a new character they just change Sulu. It’s pretty sad.

    • Bruno Babelon

      but creating a whole new character just for the sake of them being gay would have been stupid too.

      • Jon S Colesanti

        I agree, but if they are gonna go the route it would of still been more original for them to make a character for the sake of having a gay character instead of using the character who was straight that was played by a gay actor. I mean, why not Spock? Lets get some lesbians up on that star ship.

        • David Johnson

          I don’t think they ever had the Sulu Character in any sexual situation in either movie. Doubt its going to be a major part of the story probably His partner & child seeing Him off or talking to Him on a communicator.

          • Me007

            Maybe they will all explode.

        • Me007

          Green bit booby lesbians… LOL

      • J A H

        It’s a writers job to make that character more interesting and meaningful. Creating him/her just to be gay is the easy way out.

    • J A H

      And then when you complain about it, people get mad and say you’re a homophobe. It’s the same with Marvel and DC changing the sexual orientation and sex of popular characters that have been around for ages, like turning Ice Man gay or wanting Captain America to be. To me, it’s not about being anti-gay – it’s about respecting tradition and seeing it carry on.

  • Student of Alchemy

    CBS is launching a whole new series filled with original characters. Explore diversity in your cast there. I think I can understand Takei’s disapproval of the change. “Ya know that straight character you played who has been sci-fi icon for 60 years? Now that he’s being played by a new actor in a film franchise you have no part in, we’ve made him gay, just like YOU!”

    I’m bothered by a lot of the changes being made with the current franchise, precisely because they’re altering the original cast. I get Kirk being affected by the altered timeline, but the other character should be unaltered. Still, so long as Sulu isn’t married to a primary character the change won’t be as frustrating as the relationship between Spock and Uhura.

    I hope the new TV series will bring me back. I still enjoy the old series far more than the new Abbrams-verse.

  • Me007

    The stupid way out. To much gay shit going on in TV, Movies, etc. Writers have no creativity what so ever. It is the easy way out for writers. Too many shows (TV and Movies) have a least one gay scene and it is pointless. Also, there is no need for it in children’s shows at all.