SYDNEY, Australia, July 7, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The character Hikaru Sulu in the upcoming film remake of the iconic 1960 sci-fi TV series Star Trek will be openly homosexual, the actor who plays the movie role revealed this week.
The actor playing Sulu, John Cho, who was in Australia along with others in the cast to promote Star Trek Beyond, said the writers gave his character a same-sex partner and a child in tribute to Takei, who has become a prominent homosexual activist and maintains he was forced to conceal his sexual proclivities in order to stay in the acting business over a long career.
“I liked the approach,” Cho told the Herald, “which was not to make a big thing of it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicize one’s personal orientation.”
Hollywood has come under fire from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), which claimed in its latest yearly audit of whether Hollywood is presenting LGBT characters in sufficient quantity and quality that the movie industry is not measuring up, and by some measures, falling behind.
Overall, of 126 releases from seven major studios in 2015, 22 — or 17.5 percent — contained identifiably LGBT characters, the same proportion as in 2014. But the percentage of homosexual women was down 12 points and the percentage who were non-white fell from 32 to 25.
Based on the Vito Russo test (named after a homosexual film historian), only eight films passed because they contained important LGBT characters; only 36 percent of LGBT characters depicted in films were significant to the plot, the lowest proportion since GLAAD began its Studio Responsibility Index in 2012.
“LGBT characters are still too often included only in brief appearances, in service of punchlines or establishing an urban backdrop,” GLAAD complained. “Not only must there be a larger number of LGBT roles, but they must be built with substance and purpose.”
GLAAD claimed that 2015 showed “a noticeable resurgence of outright offensive depictions of LGBT people, which relied on gay panic and defamatory stereotypes for cheap laughs.” GLAAD pointed to Get Hard and The Wedding Ringer for “more blatant and incessant gay panic humor than we have seen in a Hollywood film in years” and Hot Tub Time Machine 2 for “significant defamatory content.”
Hollywood watcher Matt Philbin of the Virginia-based Culture and Media Institute is skeptical that the negative numbers revealed by GLAAD indicate real trends. “They are paid to find things to complain about. They won’t stop complaining until three-quarters of the actors are LGBT.” But in the real world outside Hollywood, he said, about two or three percent of people belong to all the sexual and gender minorities.
“What would be interesting,” Philbin told LifeSiteNews, “would be to see what proportion of characters are conservative Christians who are not portrayed as either weird punch lines or villains.”