By Lisa Respers France
(CNN) — Since coming out publicly in 2005, actor George Takei has been an outspoken LGBT activist.
That makes it somewhat surprising that he’s not on board with the fact that character he made famous on the “Star Trek” series will reportedly be portrayed as gay in the new movie.
Takei — who originated the character in the original TV series which ran from 1966 to 1969 — said that while he’s “delighted that there’s a gay character” that’s not how the show’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, envisioned Lt. Hikaru Sulu.
“Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought,” Takei told The Hollywood Reporter. “I think it’s really unfortunate.”
John Cho, who plays Sulu in the forthcoming film “Star Trek Beyond,” talked to the Herald Sun about Sulu being portrayed in the movie as the father of a daughter he shares with a same sex partner.
“I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicize one’s personal orientations,” Cho said.
Takei told THR that he was still closeted in the summer of 1968 when he swam up to Roddenberry at a pool party and had a conversation with him about integrating a gay equality theme into the series.
The actor said Roddenberry demurred, given that the show had already taken on issues like the Vietnam War and civil rights.
“He was a strong supporter of LGBT equality,” Takei said. “But he said he has been pushing the envelope and walking a very tight rope — and if he pushed too hard, the show would not be on the air.”
Alas, the show was canceled the following season anyway.
“Star Trek Beyond” is in theaters July 22.