The problem with this discussion is that people are ignoring the most important point. Justin Lin director of the new Star Trek claim that he decided to make Sulu gay to honour George Takei, George Takei told them he didn’t want it to happen and that they should have created a new character if they wanted to have a gay character in the movie. So how are they honoring Mr Takei if they refuse to honour his opinion or his wishes in this matter George Takei is an actor of the old school, where loyalty to the vision of the writer, in this case Roddenberry, is more important than any personal interests he might have. Takei actually explains that this is one of the reasons he doesn’t like the change made too his younger version.
Because it would make “his” Sulu gay, too, and, with that, in the closet. Zachary Quinto (Spock and also gay) disagrees with him, as does Simon Pegg, and I have seen a bunch of people say that he should have kept his mouth shut. It is really hard to overstate how glad I am that he did not, that he cares so much, that he doesn’t buy into the social justice warrior way of doing things. I believe changing sexual orientation of an established character in any context is lazy and gimmicky. The problem with Sulu being gay is not that there will be gay characters in Star Trek. Gay characters are okay in everyone’s book. The issue is that they are changing a legacy character for no other reason than meeting the social justice quota. A quota they could have met by creating a new character.
It’s incredible that these people and Hollywood fail to see their own prejudices. They are failing to acknowledge any way for a new character, who happens to be gay, to be introduced without being tokenized. They are the ones who seemingly can’t look past sexuality in a universe that evolved long past such notions. Write a new character, with him being gay in mind. A good character writes itself, as the saying goes. Probably when it’s revealed that he is gay, no one will be surprised. That seemed to be Mr. Takei suggestion, as I understood it. Instead of listening to him, they decided to double down and ignore the man that was supposed to be honoured.
“I’m delighted that there’s a gay character. Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”
– George Takei –