George Takei Hub




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

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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. 


Gay Iconography: From Mr. Sulu To Takei Icon

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George Takei has become such a prominent LGBT figure in popular culture, it's easy to forget he's only been out since 2005. Best known for his iconic portrayal of Mr. Sulu on Star Trek, Takei has re-established himself as a vocal LGBT advocate, affable comedian and beloved curator of webjunk.

Happydance_takeiIn addition to his work on the seminal sci-fi series, Takei is a cultural institution. He's appeared on HeroesCelebrity Apprentice and even has an asteroid named after him. He's been a regular voice on Howard Stern's show on Sirius XM Radio, winning over listeners with his honesty, openness and humor.

It's not all fun and games. Takei lived in Japanese-American internment camps from ages four to eight, and has been actively involved in politics since the '70s. (He even ran for Los Angeles City Council in 1973.) As one of the most recognizable people (with one of the most recognizable voices) in popular culture, Takei has used his celebrity to champion a variety of LGBT causes.

Learn more about Takei's contributions, relive some of our favorite Takei memories and share your own, AFTER THE JUMP …

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George Takei Slams Arizona's Anti-Gay Bill in Talk with Ronan Farrow: VIDEO

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Actor and activist George Takei joined Ronan Farrow yesterday to offer his articulate assessment of SB 1062, the Arizona bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against gays, and other bills like it under consideration in other states.

Said Takei:

"The health of the economy is what politicians are supposed to protect. Not this phony religious freedom. That argument is just a veil over personal prejudice and you cannot write personal prejudice into civil law and you certainly cannot write religious values into civil law. And so these legislators don't know the constitution. They apparently don't listen either because in the legislature they were told that this is going to do serious damage and stain the reputation of a beautiful state."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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