Monday, July 11, 2016

Gay Sulu ticks off Takei like Ghostbusters galls fans

Clearly, movie-goers aplenty have had a gutful of all this politically correct retconning that's been going on lately. But now it's even pissing off industry professionals themselves.

Take the rewriting of the iconic Star Trek character Sulu as gay. An epic case of cinematic virtue signalling, it was also meant as an affectionate nod to the openly gay actor who played the role in the original TV series, George Takei.

But Takei himself is not happy with the decision. And with good reason. He says that the writer Gene Rodenberry had a very clear vision for the character, and we should honour that. Good point.

Also, it diminishes the craft of acting itself, in a way similar to the furore over casting in that Nina Simone biopic. The rewrite implies that because an actor is gay, characters he plays must have the same sexual identity. Carts and horses come to mind here ...

The politically correct alteration puts the screenwriter Simon Pegg in an invidious position, too. Given the sensitivity around the whole issue of gay rights, even defending his decision against George Takei could be seen as homophobia. No wonder he's been so careful about it.

It could bite Pegg on the bum in another way, too. If this kind of right-on retconning becomes standard, a remake of his own movie Shaun of the Dead will suffer. That's because the character of Shaun himself will have to be rewritten as a social justice warrior.

At least the publicity surrounding Star Trek has not been as bad as it has been for that other sci-fi remake, Ghostbusters. The antipathy towards this new "feminist" version has been off the scales

The SJWs who support such a lame, right-on "re-imagining" of the 1980s classic see this resistance as more evidence of the ingrained sexism it's trying to combat. But it's a lot more complicated than that. Much of it is just die-hard fans saying: "Look if you wanna create something excruciatingly PC, fine. Just come up with something new and original. Don't cynically rehash a classic, thereby destroying our memory of it!"

1 comment:

  1. Matt, I think you'll find that using a phrase like 'bite him on the bum' in an article about gay tv characters will upset somebody. At least, I hope it does.