George Takei says making Sulu gay is ‘really unfortunate’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

George Takei has said he believes it is “really unfortunate” that his Star Trek character is to come out as gay.

Mr Takei’s comments come after John Cho, who plays Sulu in the next film, Star Trek Beyond, said he will be the first openly gay character in the franchise.

George Takei says making Sulu gay is ‘really unfortunate’

The 79-year-old who played Sulu in the original 1960s television series, said he had “urged” the film’s director Justin Linn to “honour” the show’s creator, Gene Roddenberry and create a new LGBT character rather than make Sulu gay.

He said: “Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”

Revealing that Mr Cho had called him to break the news, Mr Takei said: “I told him, ‘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’”.

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Mr Cho added that the decision to make Sulu gay was made by Linn and screenwriter, Simon Pegg, in order to honour George Takei.

He told the Australian Herald Sun: “I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out of it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicise one’s personal orientation”.

Star Trek Beyond is the third in the rebooted series, with the first released in 2009.

JJ Abrams, who directed the first film, said that he was “frankly shocked” there hadn’t been a gay character in the history of the Star Trek franchise.