EPISODE 488: GEEK TV

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10 Responses

  1. Marko says:

    What about Sam Raimi for a profile episode?

  2. Ryan says:

    Word is, Pegg, Cho and Abrams actually did go to Takei ahead of time and tell them their plans for Sulu to be gay, and when he asked them not to, they ignored him and did it anyway. I think that was the right call. If anything, Takei should be mad that his character was so minor that there’s no canon confirmation of his orientation. He asked them to make a new character gay instead, but they wisely knew that wouldn’t have the same effect. And of course they had to limit the husband to one quick scene that could be easily edited for foreign markets, and wouldn’t upset the red states here.
    As for Richard Schiff, I’m floored that he didn’t think Toby would leak classified info for the greater good a la Snowden. That seemed 100% in his character.

  3. David says:

    Hello, gentlemen,

    There is a stronger logic to Takei’s complaint. Sulu was heterosexual as portrayed in Star Trek, a man clearly attracted to women. He demonstrated this (infrequently, to be fair) in the series, The Naked Time comes to mind, and overtly in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Whatever was not revealed about his personal life, that much actually was. It’s not merely buried in Mr. Takei’s method. If his perspective is that homosexuality is innate (one that two of my gay friends deny, so it can reasonably be called a perspective), then a time break-off at, roughly, a heterosexual person’s mid-20’s, would not make having a husband 3-5 years later very sensible.

    It goes beyond who owns the character. It’s about what has been established. It’s similar to the situation with Willow in Buffy. The internal explanation was pretty lacking. Clearly she was very heterosexual, then she was very homosexual, and it was due to causes external to the Buffyverse, a writer’s decision, an imposition on the show’s established reality. I can see why Takei is bothered by this, and I think he’s right to be. Pegg and co. made a careless decision here, one that undermines their social intentions. I’m glad he spoke up and made his rejection such a big part of the story.

    • Dan Roy says:

      Yes but it’s all make-believe and there was no option for his character to be gay in the 60s. They also made all kinds of new stuff for the new movies, to the point where they made it officially part of another universe. That’s plenty of justification. The worst thing about it is they did it on his behalf, and he would have preferred they didn’t.

    • Ryan says:

      Is Sulu supposed to be 20 something years older than Kirk?
      No matter, I think this is much bigger than Takei and about time it happened. And who’s the say he’s no bi, anyway?

      • David says:

        I think I’ve been unclear. Sulu and Kirk are pretty close in age, Kirk maybe a few years older. The 20-ish age thing is when the two times split apart. Everything before that is the same – it’s the same Sulu in both sets of stories up to his first mission on the Enterprise (at somewhere in his 20’s). That’s why the another universe thing doesn’t add up. It works against this move, unless he converted and married a guy in the middle of the 5 year mission ongoing in this film, which is too unlikely. Takei doesn’t have to be important, just correct, which he is in this case. Integrity is always bigger than a social move, which is why when it’s time to do something, you do it right. He should have been listened to for his reasons, but was ignored to make a change supportable only because it’s fashionable. That belittles it. They’ve shot the cause in the foot with this one.

        • Ryan says:

          But the new timeline was created just before Kirk was born, not when he was in his twenties. If you want to get really silly about it, you can say the new timeline did something to infant Sulu’s genes or whatever and caused him to be gay.
          Or you could just say it’s the right call to have him be gay and that Takei is just plain wrong, which is my position. The whole point of the new timeline was to make it unhindered by the continuity of the old.

        • Ryan says:

          And it’s actually extraordinary rare for gay characters to appear in blockbuster movies like this, hardly “fashionable” at all. Which is why the husband was limited to two very quick shots, so he could be excised in foreign markets.

          • David says:

            No, it is very much in fashion today. Historically, of course not, but right now it gets you good press and a lot of goodwill. That’s been the majority of the backing for its support, but “it’s the right call” is an ends justify the means argument, one that undermines rightness. Saying it’s fashionable doesn’t mean it’s a shallow thing to do, but it was a shallow reason to do it in the face of the internal things that seemed to be standing against it.

            But that’s irrelevant because you’re exactly right and I’m wrong about the break-off. I’ve misrememebered the timeline, connecting it with the later actions of the new TOS crew, but no, it happened just when you say. While that can still uncomfortably argue against the idea that homosexuality is purely innate, (a position two of my gay friends don’t agree with anyway – not the majority of my homosexual acquaintances, but they still count) it certainly makes the new Sulu’s difference, internal to the Trek universe, completely possible.

            That’s a damn good point, the clincher, and hats off for setting me straight on it, it’s solid as hell. I’m with you now. There’s plenty of time for Sulu to develop a different preference. They shouldn’t have asked Takei if they weren’t going to respect his answer, but all that makes them is smug, not wrong.

  4. David says:

    Shoot! I hit enter. Finishing…

    Ryan, you are right about the bi argument. That’s valid. It’s unlikely given the Treks we have, but not impossible, and it’s the best out if people are looking for one, and clearly most are. We want to see the best in our favored dramas.

    And Dan Roy, you’re right that they should have respected Mr. Takei. To ask him and then ignore him makes it look like they weren’t asking George, but that they were asking his gayness. I think one of the guys said something like this in the show. He is more than his homosexuality, and his answer should have reminded them of this. He is also an artist, and clearly (not just in this situation) a man who values integrity, among the many other things that he is. Once they decided to approach him, they should have factored in the possibility, albeit one very reasonably not to be expected, that he would say no, and that since they’d asked, they should respect him. If they were going to do it anyway, they shouldn’t have asked. Then it would be a non-issue, just a disagreement about what should have been done, and it’s their show now.

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