The news just got around that the franchise that boldly goes where no one has gone before is getting a gay character; new Star Trek Beyond movie will show Sulu to be the one who’s paired up with a guy, married and raising a daughter. But then the complications started…
First, George Takei had a negative reaction – while “his” Sulu was hetero, Takei is gay in real life and an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights. “I’m delighted that there’s a gay character,” he stated, “Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”
After that, John Cho tried to saved the day: “My primary concern was that I was wondering how George [Takei] would feel, because he’s a gay actor that played a straight part and crafted a straight character. I didn’t want him to feel that we had reduced him to his sexuality by sort of borrowing this bit, if you will, from his life. You know? And his opinion was important to me, and I would have rather had him support the decision than not, so I wanted to reach out to him. I was concerned also that there might be Asian-American backlash. There has been this feminization of Asian men, so I thought this might be seen as continuing that lineage, which I disagree with personally, but I brought it up. I was also concerned, scientifically speaking [laughs], that we’re in an alternate universe but I’m assuming that Sulu is the same genetic Sulu in both timelines, and I thought we might be implying that sexual orientation was a choice. Does this sound super overthought?”
Yes, it does. To make matters even MORE complicated, it seems there was a gay kiss between Sulu and his husband that ended up cut out from the movie – and now no one knows what to think of the whole thing!