George Takei Describes The Time He Suggested A Homosexual Theme For ‘Star Trek’ To Gene Roddenberry

George Takei spoke to Big Think about the Utopian society that Gene Rodddenberry created on Star Trek, and the limits on what to depict in that Utopian in 1966. For example, when Takei “very privately” brought up the issue of gays and lesbians as a possible theme for the show, the Star Trek creator declined to feature it on the show.

Takei understands why, though, given what happened when Captain Kirk kissed Uhura in one episode that was “blacked out” in the South for depicting interracial romance. He said, “I’m treading a fine, tight wire here. I’m dealing with issues of the time. I’m dealing with the civil rights, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and I need to be able to make that statement by staying on the air.”

Roddenberry apparently told Takei at the time that if he dealt with LGBT issues, the beloved series would be canceled. Takei explains that he understood, because at the time he was unable to even bring up the issue openly as a gay man. Now, with the advancement of gay rights, Takei is optimistic that the Utopia Roddenberry envisioned is advancing at a faster rate than even the far out technology that the show used.