The producers of the upcoming movie, “Star Trek: Beyond”, thought they were inclusive when they decided to depict Lt. Sulu as gay. The decision meshes with the imperative of being inclusive to typically marginalized groups and also was a nod to the fact that George Takei, who played the character in the original “Star Trek” series, came out as gay in 2005.

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The 1960s series tackled a number of social issues, depicting the first onscreen interracial kiss between Captain Kirk and Lt. Uhura, for example.

The scene in question does not play the depiction up too much. It shows Sulu and his same-sex partner raising a child. But then the decision quickly went off the rails.

Takei, who has become a political activist, especially for LGBT causes, objected to the creative decision. His position is that Gene Roddenberry created the character of Sulu as a straight male and changing his sexual orientation would do violence to his artistic vision.

Star Trek logo (credit YouTube)
Star Trek logo (credit YouTube)

Takei urged the producers of the new Trek movie to create a new gay Enterprise crew member while noting that sexual orientation is not an issue in the 23rd Century.

Takei’s defense of Roddenberry’s original artistic vision has not sat very well with some social justice warriors. Indeed, his position has set up a firestorm on social media, according to the Daily Caller, with people accusing him of selling out.

In a way, the dustup is an example of the left eating its own.

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Takei has been a down the line liberal, for example attacking the NRA in the wake of the slaughter at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Ironically, many gay Americans are arming themselves and learning self-defense as a result of the massacre.

Identify politics has coarsened American politics and now popular culture in a number of ways. Roddenberry’s original vision was of an ethnically diverse crew of his fictional starship, which included two Americans, an Asian, and African, a Russian, a Scotsman, and an alien.

Later versions of Trek depicted women in roles of authority. Now the time has come for diversity in sexual orientation, a noble goal, but one that is generating far too much heat.

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