Simon Pegg, the co-writer and star of ‘Star Trek Beyond’, has responded to George Takei’s comments over the film-makers’ decision to reveal Mr. Sulu as gay in the new film, saying he “respectfully disagrees” with the veteran actor.
George Takei, who played Sulu in the original TV series, told The Hollywood Reporter he thought the move was “really unfortunate” and revealed he had initially voiced his concerns with John Cho - the new Sulu - and director Justin Lin last year.
“I told [John 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.’“
In response, Pegg who also plays Scotty in the film released a statement to the Guardian saying: “I have huge love and respect for George Takei, his heart, courage and humour are an inspiration.
“However, with regards to his thoughts on our Sulu, I must respectfully disagree with him.
“He’s right, it is unfortunate, it’s unfortunate that the screen version of the most inclusive, tolerant universe in science fiction hasn’t featured an LGBT character until now. 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?”
He adds: “It’s also important to note that at no point do we suggest that our Sulu was ever closeted, why would he need to be? It’s just hasn’t come up before.”
‘Star Trek Beyond’ is coming to cinemas on 22 July.
Image credits: Rex/Paramount