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J.J. Abrams has spoken out about the choice to add a gay character to the StarTrek franchise with Hikaru Sulu. The producer did an interview with the Huffington Post where he said he’s “really proud” about how it was handled and that it was “about time” that it happened.

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“It is done … 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.”

George Takei played Sulu in the original Star Trek, and upon hearing the news that the new Sulu would be gay he spoke out against it. Despite being openly gay himself, George suggested that changing the character because it went against the original vision of the creator Gene Roddenberry.

Ironically John Cho, the actor who is playing Sulu this time around, said that the move was actually paying homage to George for his LGBT activism.

J.J. also shared his thoughts about George’s opinion.

“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.”

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