Sulu talks

Over at Mother Jones, George Takei, who played Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek, shares some fascinating stories about Asian stereotypes in Hollywood, his childhood memories of a post-Pearl Harbor internment camp, and being "quietly out" in the late 1960s. From Mother Jones:


MJ: Did the cast know you were gay?

GT: Most of them knew, but they were cool. They knew what impact it could have on an actor's career. Once I was at work chatting with Walter Koenig, who played Pavel Chekov, and he started gesturing at a group of young extras who were dressed in the Starfleet shirt. There was a gorgeous young guy with a fantastic build and that tight shirt on him and that's when I knew that Walter knew. I turned back to him and he was grinning. He was helping me out! Bill [Shatner] was oblivious. In fact, when he was on the Howard Stern Show, Howard had me call in and chat with Bill. I mentioned Brad and he didn't know who Brad was. Everybody knew! We had a very public wedding. Bill says, "Who's Brad?"

"George Takei, the Best Driver in the Galaxy"


    1. Shatner doesn’t really care about anything that’s not Shatner. Guy is amazingly self-absorbed. Which, as you say, is still better than homophobia.

      1. SHATNER! Doesn’t really care… about Anything… that’s not… SHATNER! Guy IS…. amazingly…. self-absorbed-which… as you say?… is still better than…. homophobia???

  1. It’s inspiring to see a human with a greater purpose, understands what it is, and is directly on target…. and also isn’t so serious that he forgets to laugh. Full speed ahead indeed!

  2. Aww, Chekov was even Sulu’s wingman in real life! That’s as heartwarming as mulled Romulan ale.

    If you’ll excuse me, I need to dry my eyes, and then update my slashfic to reflect this more tender, nuanced relationship I now see between the two.

    1. That’s as heartwarming as mulled Romulan ale.

      Really?  What I see is a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy at Starfleet!

    1. I’d read earlier that Shatner was the only cast member who wasn’t cool with Takei being gay, but if George says “oblivious” I’ll take him at his word.

  3.  Anyone else read the interview excerpt with Takei’s luxuriant baritone ringing in their head?  God, I could listen to that man read my IP logs, and hang on his every syllable.

  4. I saw George Takai in 1978. It was pretty obvious he was gay even back then. He did not keep it much of a secret.

    1. Keep in mind that this was back in the days when Liberace was ostensibly “straight” too. Entertainers didn’t really have to fool anyone as long as they could maintain plausible deniability.

      1. Or Little Richard. Who still hasn’t dealt with it.

        All hail Alan Sues, Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly for not even bothering with plausible deniability.

  5. Here’s a nasty little image that popped into my head a few months back and it’s just stuck there.

    Cap’n Kirk:  “Mr Sulu”
    Sulu (turning to face Kirk):  “Yes, Captain?”
    Cap’n Kirk blows a big fat belch at Sulu’s face, point-blank range, while exhaling “Spoooooooock!”

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