In 2013, a fan asked 'Star Trek' to make Sulu gay. Here's his response to the news.

John Cho's recent announcement that Sulu will be gay in "Star Trek: Beyond" predictably set the Internet on fire.

Photo from "Star Trek: Beyond"/Paramount Pictures.


According to Cho, the decision was made, in part, as a tribute to George Takei, the openly gay actor and LGBT rights activist who played the character in the original series.

The actor revealed that Sulu's relationship with his partner — with whom he has a daughter — would be treated as any other relationship in the film and essentially be "no big deal."

Lots of fans were thrilled.



But the announcement about Sulu's sexual orientation had a surprise critic: Takei himself.

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.

"I’m delighted that there’s a gay character," Takei told The Hollywood Reporter. "Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene [Roddenberry’s] creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate."

Takei explained that he believed that while "Star Trek" is ready for a gay main cast member, the decision to depict Sulu's same-sex relationship in a prequel recasts the Enterprise helmsman as closeted in the original series.

Simon Pegg, who co-wrote the screenplay, responded in The Guardian to "respectfully disagree" with Takei.

Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images.

"Justin Lin, Doug Jung and I loved the idea of it being someone we already knew because the audience have a pre-existing opinion of that character as a human being, unaffected by any prejudice," Pegg said in a statement.

"Their sexual orientation is just one of many personal aspects, not the defining characteristic."

One fan who was particularly excited by the news was Dan Wohl, a California graduate student who asked for exactly this move in a 2013 essay published on The Mary Sue.

"J.J. Abrams, if you’re listening, I think you should make Sulu gay," Wohl wrote.

Giving Sulu a same-sex partner, Wohl argued — and treating their relationship as simply something that is — would not only be a moving tribute to Takei's life and work, but help begin to correct "complicated but ultimately disappointing history" of mostly ignoring LGBT themes and characters on "Star Trek."

Wohl told Upworthy that he was delighted by the news.

Photo from "Star Trek: Beyond"/Paramount Pictures.

"I think it's awesome, and I'm really glad they're doing it," he said.

While he expected that the franchise would eventually introduce LGBT characters, he explained that he didn't believe the writers of the film would actually choose a character with such a long history to be the series' first.

"It's very rare to have something that you want so much to happen in your fandom come true."

"The normalization of things is really powerful," Wohl explained, praising the creators of "Beyond" for choosing not to make a grand statement about Sulu's sexuality within the film.

Making Sulu's sexual orientation just one more facet of a character with decades of rich backstory rather than a major plot point, he said, is just as powerful as using the character to make a big, sweeping statement.

"Almost just as important is to show that the things that were fought for should be viewed as just parts of life."

While he criticized the franchise for being behind the curve on LGBT issues to date, Wohl hopes that with a new series about to launch on CBS, "Star Trek" will further affirm its inclusive values.

"What I really think 'Star Trek' could and should become a pioneer in is when it comes to trans characters," he said.

Similarly, he said, if the franchise does introduce a trans character or characters, it could break new ground by refusing to make their gender identity the focus of their arc.

"The only time that you basically see a trans character is when the story is about them being trans."

But first, the franchise is — thankfully, finally — boldly going ... where many have gone before.

Photo by James Teterenko/Wikimedia Commons.

The show "was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms," creator Roddenberry wrote in an essay on the "Star Trek" philosophy.

While creators, actors, and fans may disagree about the particulars, with "Star Trek," what else is new?

More
Youtube

Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

Most Shared
via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

Keep Reading Show less
Family