Producer and "Star Trek"/"Star Trek Into Darkness" director J.J. Abrams has weighed in on the decision to make Sulu gay in "Star Trek Beyond," showing great support for the filmmakers' decision.
"It’s about time that there’s a gay character in this universe," Abrams told the Huffington Post. "It is done, as you saw, in a way that is not in the story of the movie, which is one of my favorite things about it. It’s beside the point."
Commenting on George Takei's surprising negative reaction to the news, Abrams said, "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."
Abrams added, "One of the many things I admire about [Roddenberry] was … how he was so about inclusivity, and I can’t imagine that he would not have wanted one of these characters, if he had been allowed ― which, of course, he would never have been allowed to in that era ― [to] have them be gay...It feels like that is classic Roddenberry, so I don’t know what or why George Takei would take issue with it. I understand he’s backtracked a little bit. But I love the way [writers] Simon Pegg, Doug Jung and [director] Justin Lin did it. Doug Jung, who’s the co-writer, actually plays the husband of Sulu. I think it’s something I’m really proud of."
Directed by Justin Lin, "Star Trek Beyond" beams into theaters on July 22.