Zachary Quinto Responds To George Takei's Comments About Sulu Being Gay & Makes Some Great Points
Following co-star Simon Pegg's suit, Zachary Quinto has responded to George Takei's comments about the character Sulu's sexuality in the upcoming Star Trek film. To recap: Takei, who rose to fame for his portrayal of Hikaru Sulu, a Lieutenant aboard the Starship Enterprise, in the '60s — a role he returned to many times for subsequent television series and movies, and one he understandably feels very connected to — commented on the recent reveal that Sulu will be revealed to be openly gay in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, due out Jul. 22. When John Cho, who plays Sulu in the reboot, announced the reveal, Takei described the decision to make Sulu gay as "really unfortunate," telling The Hollywood Reporter: "I'm delighted that there’s a gay character ... unfortunately, it’s a twisting of [Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s] creation, to which he put in so much thought."
In response, a couple of stars of the new take on the franchise have spoken out, including Pegg, who portrays Scotty in the films, and now Quinto, who plays Spock. Speaking to PEDESTRIAN.TV, Quinto stated he was "disappointed" in the venerated actor and activist's opinion on Sulu being an openly gay character in the films, before underlining how crucial it is for us to see "normalized and positive portrayals of members of [the LGBT] community in Hollywood and in mainstream blockbuster cinema." He continued:
I find as a member of the LGBT community myself, I was disappointed by the fact that George was disappointed. I think any member of the LGBT community that takes issue with the normalized and positive portrayal of members of our community in Hollywood and in mainstream blockbuster cinema... I get it. He has had his own personal journey and has 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'm really glad that Quinto spoke up here to throw his support behind the decision. I think particularly because this is a world set in the future, we should be looking forward to a time where the gender of whom we love, does not matter — and to start putting the elements of that future into practice now. The more normally and respectfully we treat it — aka, without acting like it completely derails the character to be attracted to a different gender than previously thought — the sooner we can acknowledge that that's the way things should be.