The last couple weeks we've been following the developments surrounding Star Trek Beyond's announcement that they'll be revealing the character Sulu as gay in the upcoming film --- a decision largely made to serve as a nod to George Takei (who played Mr. Sulu for many years in movies and television) who came out as gay in 2005 after many years of keeping his sexual orientation to himself.
Long story short, George Takei told the press that he didn't think the show's creator Gene Roydenberry would approve of the decision, though he did say that he appreciates it --
"I wish John Cho well in the role I once played, and congratulate Simon Pegg on his daring and groundbreaking storytelling," Takei wrote. "While I would have gone with the development of a new character in this instance, I do fully understand and appreciate what they are doing — as ever, boldly going where no one has gone before." J.J. Abrams offered his thoughts on well, George Takei's thoughts regarding the matter:
"I feel that George Takei’s reaction ― I’m sure has more to do with George Takei, and the baggage he brings to the proceedings. I think it may be his perception of having played a character a certain way. It might mean something personally to him. I have nothing but respect for the man, but I think it’s a preposterous thing for, of all people, a ‘Star Trek’ actor — who’s come out himself — to say that Gene Roddenberry wouldn’t have wanted this.”
"It’s about time that there’s a gay character in this universe," Abrams said.
Mr. Hikaru Sulu, who is played in the modern Star Trek films by actor John Cho is set to be revealed as gay in the next film, Star Trek Beyond. When we next pick up with Mr. Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek Beyond, he is portrayed as a father with a same-sex partner and a daughter. While it's a clear fact, it's also carried out in a casual manner, with no fanfare -- it's just there, which is something Cho appreciated.
"I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out of it," Cho told the Australian newspaper The Herald Sun while he was on a press tour for the movie. "[That] is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicize one's personal orientations."
The change, also comes as a nod by writer (also stars in film) Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin, to the OG Sulu, Mr. George Takei. Takei played Sulu for many years in the television and film series, and didn't come out as gay until 2005. When asked why it took so long, Takei said it was because as an actor in the 60s, he'd have gotten no work in the industry as an openly declared gay male.
Star Trek Beyond debuts in theaters July 22, 2016. Check out the latest, final trailer for the movie below:
Come on out, Mr. Smithers. We're all waiting for you.
The Simpsons new season, which just began Sept. 27, might have some lasting changes to the cast. Specifically, Mr. Smithers just might admit his sexuality to Mr. Burns.
It's long been known that Mr. Smithers is gay, for a while it was used as the only aspect of that character, but it's remained hidden from the dastardly Mr. Burns for the duration of the two's working relationship.
Speaking to TV Line, Executive Producer Al Jean revealed a little teaser about what's to come in the 27th season:
"In Springfield now, most people know he's gay, but obviously Burns doesn't," Jean notes. "We deal with that in two episodes. … We actually do a lot with Smithers this year; he gets fed up with Burns not appreciating him and considers his options."