George Takei Hub




George Takei: Star Trek's Gene Roddenberry Wasn't Ready For a Gay Storyline

Screenshot 2014-07-23 13.36.27George Takei took some time out of his busy schedule of being generally awesome to stop by Bill Maher’s Real Time hot seat last Friday to talk about the gay-themed episode of Star Trek that never was. Takei, who was not publically out as a gay may while he was playing the role of Hikaru Sulu, claims that the cast and crew of the hit series were very well aware of his sexuality.

“But they were cool about it,” Takei explained. “Because they [knew] that if they made a public statement about it or made it very obvious then my career would be destroyed.”

Star Trek, known for pushing the conversation about a number of social issues forward through the use of allegory, wasn’t quite ready for a plotline dealing with homosexuality, Takei said. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, to whom Takei pitched the idea, feared that in pushing the envelope too far, the show might run the risk of being cancelled and losing its ability to make any kind of social commentary.

Check out a clip for Takei's new documentary To Be Takei about his life on Star Trek and a gay cultural icon AFTER THE JUMP...

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George Takei Gives TED Talk On Why He Loves The Country That Betrayed Him: VIDEO

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George Takei recently gave a TEDx talk in Kyoto Japan about being sent to an internment camp for Japanese-Americans as a child during World War II and how that experience shaped his perception of democracy and led him to be the outspoken activist and patriot he is today. Takei said his father was his greatest teacher when it came to understanding the contradictions inherent in the American democracy:

He told me that our democracy is a people’s democracy and it can be as great as a a people can be but is also as fallible as people are. He told me that American democracy is vitally dependent on good people who cherish the ideals of our system and actively engage in the process of making our democracy work. 

For Takei, it was his father along with the decorated Japanese-American servicemen who risked their lives for their country in World War II that left him with a specific legacy and a responsibility: 

I am dedicated to making my country an even better America, to making our government an even truer democracy and because of the heroes that I have and the struggles that we've gone through I can stand before you as a gay Japanese American but even more than that I am a proud American. 

Watch Takei's talk, AFTER THE JUMP...

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DIRECTV Previewing 'To Be Takei' Through August 6: VIDEO

TakeiBrace yourself and gird your Facebook feed — a viral tsunami is headed our way. It's To Be Takei, the Sundance-acclaimed documentary about George Takei — man, legend, Internet institution, and sex symbol — the latter title, as bestowed by Dan Savage in the film's trailer. Starting tomorrow, Friday July 3, the film will be available on DIRECTV Cinema, via DIRECTV and Starz Digital Media. It screens there through August 6, giving DIRECTV users a chance to watch the film in advance of its wide release.

In the years following his iconic portrayal of Sulu on Star Trek, Takei has built a cult following for his Facebook updates, his political outspokenness, and his great sense of humor. ("I was the best helmsman in the galaxy... and put to rest all that stereotype about Asian drivers.") The new documentary gives us a glimpse into the actor's personal life. He discusses his coming out story, and his 18-year relationship with husband Brad Altman.

At the end of the film trailer, 77-year-old Takei assures us "It's okay to be Takei!" Much less "okay," I would argue "being Takei" is aspirational!

Check the trailer out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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George Takei Promotes Hobby Lobby Boycott Over SCOTUS Ruling

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The Supreme Court’s recent ruling allowing companies like Hobby Lobby not to cover contraception compelled openly gay actor George Takei to support a boycott against it and other companies that choose “to impose [their] religious beliefs on... employees.”

In part, Takei’s blog post reads:

… As Justice Ginsberg’s stinging dissent pointed out, companies run by Scientologists could refuse to cover antidepressants, and those run by Jews or Hindus could refuse to cover medications derived from pigs (such as many anesthetics, intravenous fluids, or medications coated in gelatin)… one wonders whether the case would have come out differently if a Muslim-run chain business attempted to impose Sharia law on its employees.

As many have pointed out, Hobby Lobby is the same company that invests in Pfizer and Teva Pharmaceuticals, makers of abortion inducing-drugs and the morning after pill. It also buys most of its inventory from China, where forced abortions are common. The hypocrisy is galling.  

… Once the law starts permitting exceptions based on “sincerely held religious beliefs” there’s no end to the mischief and discrimination that will ensue. Indeed, this is the same logic that certain restaurants and hotels have been trying to deploy to allow proprietors to refuse service to gay couples.

We are a nation that respects religious beliefs, but also the right not to have those beliefs imposed upon you by others…

While we work to overturn this decision by legislation, people of good conscious should BOYCOTT any for-profit business, including Hobby Lobby, which chooses to impose its religious beliefs on its employees.

The only way such companies ever learn to treat people with decency and tolerance is to hit them where it counts–in their pocketbooks. I won’t be shopping there, and women everywhere should exercise their right of protest and refuse to shop there as well.

In related news, Twitter users have begun skewering Hobby Lobby’s win by using the #DrHobbyLobby hashtag to ask the company ironic questions about women’s health.

The feminist blog Jezebel also has a list of 82 other companies and organizations that oppose health care coverage for birth control.


George Takei Receives Vito Russo Award at GLAAD Awards in NYC: VIDEO

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Star Trek legend and LGBT rights activist George Takei received the Vito Russo Award at GLAAD's New York media awards on Saturday night.

Takei praised GLAAD for its work abolishing stereotypes:

"...as a closeted kid growing up in Los Angeles…all I saw of gays and lesbians in movies and television or heard on radio were caricatures of people who were mocked and laughed at, or pitied, or hated. The media stripped us of all humanity and made us into pathetic stereotypes. The media then was a soul-crushing monster. GLAAD took on this formidable beast with its media savvy, political acumen and the power of its advocacy and transformed the media into a powerful force for change. GLAAD inspired and galvanized others into action to join with in the great 21st century civil rights movement."

He added:

"But as long as LGBT people can be fired from their job for simply being who they are, our work isn’t done yet. As long as young people are kicked out of their families just for being who they are, our work is not done yet. As long as people are be bullied into feeling that their lives are so hopeless that they are driven to self-destructive acts, our work is not done."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

You can find the list of GLAAD Award winners HERE.

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George Takei to Lead Upcoming Seattle Pride Parade as Celebrity Grand Marshal

George takei

Seattle is in for a real treat this June as organizers for the city’s Pride Parade have just announced that gay icon George Takei will serve as Celebrity Grand Marshal. 

Writes Seattle Out & Proud:

George_Takei_Chicago_Gay_&_Lesbian_Pride_2006With a career spanning more than five decades, Takei is known around the world for his founding role in the acclaimed television series Star Trek, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise.  Takei starred in three seasons of Star Trek and later reprised his iconic role in six movies.  As an actor, social justice activist, social media power, author of “Lions and Tigers and Bears: The Internet Strikes Back” and “Oh Myyy! There Goes the Internet,” and star of upcoming Broadway musical Allegiance, Takei has used his roles and public persona to advance LGBT and human rights around the world.  Mashable.com reports Takei is the most-influential person on Facebook, with more than 6.4 million likes. Takei has more than one million followers on Twitter.

The Seattle Pride Parade is scheduled to take place Sunday, June 29 at 11:00am on 4th Avenue, downtown. 


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