Spotlight Series: 5 Times George Takei Inspired Us
1. When he took on his legendary role as Sulu and gave the Asian community a hero. “So many people have told me that for the first time they had someone they could relate to and be proud of when they turned on Star Trek… because they saw an Asian character who was not a stereotype, who was in many ways a hero, who was part of the leadership team…and that made them feel proud.” (YouTube)
2. When he opened up about growing up on a Japanese internment camp. “Life in prison became routine. We lined up three times a day to eat lousy food, I went with my father to a mass shower, and then I started school. The irony that I still remember is that they taught us the Pledge of Allegiance, and I could see the barbed wire fence and the sentry tower right outside my schoolhouse window as I recited, “…with liberty and justice for all.” (The Daily Beast)
3. When he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a teenage activist. “I was in a civil rights musical at that time, Fly Blackbird, and I met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and shook his hand. I was involved in activism from my teenage days, then the peace movement during the Vietnam War, then the redress movement for Japanese-Americans.” (The Daily Beast)
4. When he broke his silence on LGBT rights and came out. “I decided to come out to the press after then-Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation granting marriage equality in California. I was outraged that he would cave to political pressures, but also inspired by the young people I saw demonstrating against his actions.” (The Huffington Post)
5. When he reminded us that inclusiveness is not only better, but healthy too.
For all the awesome that you are, George Takei we <3 you!
While most characters on Star Trek wielded phasers, George Takei insisted on his character, Sulu, using a revolver.
An extension of his notorious obsession with guns, Takei was infamous on the set for constantly bringing the weapons from his home collection to filming. His habit became problematic during the episode “The Trouble with Tribbles“ when during a take, he shot almost 17 tribbles, stopping to reload several times as the small animals fled for safety. 14 of the adorable creatures died.
After Star Trek, Takei ran against Charlton Heston for presidency of the NRA (National Rifle Association) and lost by only three votes. Aggravated over the loss, Takei founded his own gun ownership association, The Association for Mandatory International Gun Ownership. AMIGO is infamous in U.S. political circles for its hardline stances on gun regulation, arms subsidies, and the prohibition of Swiss cheese from schools and government cafeterias.
Takei is not the only Star Trek cast member to run a lobbying group. William Shatner (Kirk) is the founder of PFTETOWS (People For The Ethical Treatment Of William Shatner), and Walter Koenig (Chekov) founded SPRATDONW, the Society For Prevention Of Radiation Accidents Through The Decommissioning Of Nuclear Wessels.