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Star Trek Beyond
John Cho as Sulu in “Star Trek Beyond.” (Via Paramount Pictures)

Update: In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, George Takei says he thinks it’s “really unfortunate” that the Sulu character will be gay and that it’s out of step with what “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry would have wanted. While he’s delighted that there’s a gay character, Takei thinks the filmmakers should have created a new character with a history of being gay.

Original story: In a nod to beloved actor George Takei, the upcoming film “Star Trek Beyond” will reveal longtime character Hikaru Sulu to be a gay father.

Actor John Cho told Australia’s Herald Sun that it was a decision made by writer Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin and that he considered it a sign of what he hoped were changing times.

“I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicize one’s personal orientations,” Cho told the newspaper.

George Takei
George Takei. (Via Twitter)

Takei played Sulu in the original “Star Trek” television series in 1966 and has previously discussed how he remained closeted to protect his acting career.

“I started my career in the 1950s when it was unthinkable to be out and realistically think you’re going to have a viable career,” Takei, who came out in 2005, told The Sydney Morning Herald in 2014. “Films and film workers live or die by the box office, and for me to be out and insisting that I was going to be an actor was suicidal.”

Takei has gone on to become a cultural icon and activist for LGBTQ rights. He has nearly 10 million followers on Facebook and 1.8 million on Twitter.

“Star Trek Beyond” opens in US theaters on July 22.

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