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J.J. Abrams: A Gay Character In Star Trek 2 Would Feel Like A “Stupid, Distracting Subplot”

Even though the Star Trek franchise has featured transgender and asexual aliens, AfterElton.com’s Michael Jensen laments that in its 45 years, there’s never been an  flesh-and-blood gay or lesbian character; something he considers odd for show with a message of tolerance and inclusivity.

Jensen recently sat down with J.J. Abrams, director of the most recent Star Trek film, to discuss whether the upcoming sequel will finally feature a queer Klingon or bi Betazoid.

According to Abrams, don’t hold your breath.

I just wouldn’t want the agenda to be… whether it’s a heterosexual relationship or a homosexual relationship, to tell a story that was, that felt distracting from the purpose of the story. So I’m complete[ly] open-minded, you know—I’m interested in finding a way to do that but it’s almost like it’s a tricky thing. Because it’s the right thing to do… but [you want to] do it in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re [just] doing it in order to make that point. Because then it’s almost a disservice. Because then it feels like, “Oh that stupid distracting subplot about you know, you know, that minority. Or those people. ”

So the question is how do you do it where it doesn’t feel like, ‘Why am I getting into that kind of detail about the character’s life if not just to make a point of it?’ So the answer is, I think it should be done and I’d love to be able to do it…once we get through the bigger issues of certain structural things that are really the key to the show or the movie being done well.

Abrams, in his meandering way, seems to be suggesting that a character’s homosexuality would have to be established in the bedroom or take center stage in his story arc. This is the 21st century, J.J., and Star Trek takes place in the 24th century: You could easily insert a gay or lesbian character with a same-sex love interest without completely derailing or detracting from the story.

In Abrams’ 2010 Trek flick, James Kirk hits on Uhura and rolls around with her alien roommate. Yes, it helped establish his character as a “bad boy,” but it hardly conveyed much information about the larger plot. Abrams and his writers should stop seeing homosexuality as so explosive and portray queer attraction with as much casualness as they do straight sexuality.

In the meantime, we’ll always have George Takei—and Zachary Quinto’s oddly homoerotic reading of the Star Trek audiobook.

Image via

By:           Daniel Villarreal
On:           Aug 6, 2011
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 72 Comments
    • Tomw
      Tomw

      Queerty, I think you have completely misread what he is actually saying.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 6:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TomChicago
      TomChicago

      well, it doesn’t have to be a subplot, JJ. A mere acknowledgement of a gay reaction, relationship, or character doesn’t need to become some kind of polemic. It has been done before–in the 20th century. Of course, if it is a source of discomfort for you, JJ, that is another issue.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 6:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      It’s like saying having a black female in the main cast is a stupid, distracting subplot.
      Or having a Russian in the main cast is a stupid, distracting subplot.
      Or a Japanese guy.
      Or a Scottish guy.
      Or a Vulcan. If casting a Vulcan isn’t positive discrimination, I don’t know what is…

      Aug 6, 2011 at 6:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • zrocqs
      zrocqs

      @Tomw: Nope. No completely misreading. JJ Abrams understands that Star Trek has always had a wide demographic following. Straight and Gay. Open-minded and conservative…. Oops, sorry. I meant liberal and conservative. If he were to include a Queer character, it would offend much of his conservative audience. That would mean lost revenue. Whereas not having a Queer character… that’s just expected. No boycott from us’n’s. Just lingering disappointment. ……..sigh…….

      Aug 6, 2011 at 6:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      Once again, Queerty takes an innocent comment and tries to turn it into something it isn’t. The is no malice or discrimination here. In more complete versions of the interview, Mr.Abrams makes the point that it is not a simple as including other minorities. Simply having a black woman, or Asian man made the point visually without affecting plot. To include a gay person would require it to become part of the plot, for obvious reasons. It might be difficult to bring the personal life of a sub character into a script.

      Why try to create controversy and strife when there is none. All he said was that he would like to do it, but only if I can be done well, and doesn’t feel like a distraction.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 6:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      Once again, Queerty takes an innocent comment and tries to turn it into something it isn’t. The is no malice or discrimination here. In more complete versions of the interview, Mr.Abrams makes the point that it is not a simple as including other minorities. Simply having a black woman, or Asian man made the point visually without affecting plot. To include a gay person would require it to become part of the plot, for obvious reasons. It might be difficult to bring the personal life of a sub character into a script.

      Why try to create controversy and strife when there is none. All he said was that he would like to do it, but only if I can be done well, and doesn’t feel like a distraction.

      And get a better headline writer…he never said it would feel like…..he said he “wouldn’t want it to feel like” there is a HUGE difference.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 6:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • zrocqs
      zrocqs

      @Chris: Malice? Who accused JJ Abrams of malice? No one in either the article or the posts. Discrimination? Absolutely! Here’s the breakdown: Offend Chrisservatives = lose profits.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 7:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nic
      Nic

      @Chris:

      Aug 6, 2011 at 7:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wombat
      Wombat

      It is a false dichotomy to think that the choice is between (1) continuing the status quo of never showing that gay people EXIST in the Star Trek universe, or (2) there being a full subplot about the sexuality or romantic interests of particular gay characters. Gay people could easily be included in the Star Trek universe without making their romance/sexuality a full subplot. For example, in a scene on a planet (or in a shipboard dining room), two men (or two women) could be shown walking by, holding hands, and making goo-goo eyes at each other. Or a man (not necessarily a major character) could mention that he misses his husband (or a woman mention that she misses her wife).

      It would only take five seconds of screen time to casually establish that gay people exist in the Star Trek universe and serve openly in Star Fleet.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 7:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nic
      Nic

      @Chris:

      But the thing is, it WOULDN’T have to be a case of shoe-horning in main plot points – making Sulu and Chekov a couple, or whatever. If there wasn’t an underlying fear that it would scare homophobes away from cinemas, and if they genuinely wanted to rectify this glaring gap in the Star Trek universe’s history of inclusivity, incorporating LGBTQ characters into the worldbuilding is easy. Russel T Davis’s reboot of Doctor Who regularly included characters who were LGBTQ in the background as well as the foreground – a supporting character’s reference to a brother and his husband, say, instead of a brother and his wife. It’s not hard, if you actually give a damn about doing the right thing.

      Bottom line: it’s not worth it to them, because it would drive away some of the audience. Raking in the maximum cash is more important than making a positive statement for civil rights with a franchise that has always purported to be about equality and inclusion.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 7:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J.
      J.

      So zrocqs, gay character are the ones who need to sacrificed to make everyone happy? You think that’s right?

      Aug 6, 2011 at 7:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jim
      Jim

      I think he wants to do it, but doesn’t seem to know how without it seeming heavy-handed or clumsy. If you want an example of heavy-handed messaging, think of the black on the left and white on the right guy and the other who is the reverse of that. I think there would be a lot of criticism if he tried to do this but did a poor job.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 8:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      Abrams sucks, anyway.
      Everything he’s ever done has been a semi-interesting high concept idea that’s poorly executed and in the end gives nothing to the audience.
      The only decent thing he’s ever done is the Star Trek movie and that’s ’cause the basic story, characters and ideas etc were written by better writers.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 8:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Hood
      Derek Hood

      As a major Trekkie, and a gay male, I don’t think JJ meant anything disrespectful by his comments. And why is it necessary to make it so obvious that someone is gay in Star Fleet? I go to work everyday, everyone knows I’m gay, but it’s not the topic of conversation. It’s brought up occassionally, or occassional joke is made, or someone will point out a hot guy to me (lol). I just fit in with everyone else – nobody cares. What do you want? A pink uniform for someone with a pride flag star fleet emblem on the uniform? Why is it necessary to throw someone’s sexuality in everyone’s face? Star Trek has always made a point of including everyone (even in the original series) as equal – and made a point of how discrimination against anyone is wrong. It’s always been part of it’s ‘charm’ and subliminal social commentary.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 8:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • catinhat
      catinhat

      Why couldn’t they land on an all-gay planet?

      Aug 6, 2011 at 8:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • o
      o

      @catinhat: It’s been done before.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 9:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • o
      o

      To be honest, I like Abrams’ comments. It’s a lot better than making Dumbledore gay out of nowhere.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 9:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @NIC But the situation here is different. Here you are putting the characters into an established storyline. So yes you would be changing the plot.

      In the Star Trek universe, if you will, Checkov has many female love interests, and Sulu later has a daughter. You can’t make that work unless the characters have an affair and later turn straight.

      So it would mean the introduction of new characters, or a change to established ones.

      @zrocqs
      Yes, the headline itself implies malice, as in “holding ill will or evil intent” …at least according to my dictionary. Referring to a gay character as a “stupid distracting sub-plot” certainly qualifies….which is something he didn’t do.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 9:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
      David Ehrenstein

      “Star Trek” is OVER!

      Aug 6, 2011 at 9:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ggreen
      ggreen

      Didn’t Abrams graduate from Sarah Lawrence College the woman’s college in Yonkers?

      Aug 6, 2011 at 9:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elloreigh
      Elloreigh

      So the question is, does Abrams have a valid point, or is it a copout?

      I would say both. While he makes valid points, they add up to a copout. It doesn’t have to be a major character or a subplot. It can be as simple as two people of the same-sex noticing each other in a flirty way. It can be in the background.

      On the other hand, do we really want to be nothing more than scenery? This is where Abrams makes valid points. I think he realizes that such minimal treatment would be unsatisfying to a lot of people and potentially just as controversial as making it a full plot point.

      I don’t think comments about not wanting to alienate part of his audience are without merit, either. There is a bottom line here, and until filmmakers see evidence that they have more to gain than lose from showcasing gay characters – that it doesn’t require bravery and risk – things will remain hit or miss.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 9:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      Star Trek doesn’t need to have a gay character it would be to distracting.If they make a main character gay the fans will call it bullshit and if it’s some red shirt most of you will not like it.Everything doesn’t have to be about gay I wonder what some of you would do if you where not gay?Being gay seems to be the only thing you care about.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 9:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Davide
      Davide

      @Derek Hood: You’re totally right. Maybe the Enterprise has some sort of policy in which gays are welcomed but can’t to throw their sexuality in everyone’s face. If a person discloses that he or she is gay, they will be discharged. Sounds reasonable, right? Oh, wait…
      Sorry for my englis.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 9:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Davide
      Davide

      @Derek Hood: You’re totally right. Maybe the Enterprise has some sort of policy in which gays are welcomed but can’t to throw their sexuality in everyone’s face. If a person discloses that he or she is gay, they will be discharged. Sounds reasonable, right? Oh, wait…
      Sorry for my english.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      It would never get past the homophobic Hollywood studio heads. They’re the biggest bunch of homophobes short of the Religious Right. Hollywood was built on homophobia.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 9:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      I often fantasize about a gay plot involving Chris Pine and me.

      Just the two of us marooned on an M-class planet, with abundant fresh water and food and time on our hands to have lots of deep space sex.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 10:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Codswallop
      Codswallop

      It’s a stupid statement. Who said anything about a “subplot”? I don’t think anyone is asking for there to be a story ABOUT gay characters, just their inclusion. Even if you just go by the number of gay actors who have played roles in the show and movies (G Takei, Merrick Buttrick, Z Quinto most likely) it argues for their inclusion in the Star Trek “universe.” Abrams’ statement is a cop-out.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 10:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      @Derek Hood:

      And why is it necessary to make it so obvious that someone is gay in Star Fleet? I go to work everyday, everyone knows I’m gay, but it’s not the topic of conversation. It’s brought up occassionally, or occassional joke is made, or someone will point out a hot guy to me (lol). I just fit in with everyone else – nobody cares.

      So why can’t art imitate life? You and Mr. Abrams both seem to think that for a movie to have a gay character, the character has be some flamboyant queen.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 10:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      @Codswallop:

      Agreed. That’s why I don’t trust straight people to tell our stories, because the only way they know how to tell our stories ends up being “The Birdcage”. When it comes to queer characters, hets aren’t the least bit interested in being subtle, or making us look “normal”.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 10:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • inoits2
      inoits2

      @jason: I think the public is homophobic, not hollywood. Hollywood makes movies that America wants to see. It is also about making money and a gay character could become a major discussion by the media. This discussion in turn can detract from the overall enjoyment of the movie. The question is how to show a gay person without creating a stink. I have it! Mario Cantone and Willie Garson could be best friends with Captain Ohura. They could give Ohura advice on men and help her with her makeup.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 10:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • velocifero
      velocifero

      Who cares? The new Star Trek franchise sucks. The new 2010 sets look cheaper then the sets from the 1960s original show and the characters and casting are horrible. The movie was a snore and had none of the original vision of Gene Roddenberry. I hooe the next installment tanks.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 11:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      did Queerty actually read the interview? because I got a totally different take on it:
      ” I would feel unrepresented in something that’s supposed to be representing the world and the community. That was very much what Roddenberry was doing. So I do believe that it’s something that, you know, should happen and I would love to be able to be a part of that.”

      ” Well, thank you for bringing this up for me, because honestly this was not in the list of my priorities to try to figure out how to make this movie in the best possible way. But it will now be in the hopper. And it’s one of those things I’ll bring up with the writers next time we meet.”

      “I really appreciate you bringing this up because it seems insane to me that it has not been overtly discussed.”

      I mean, c’mon Queerty. taking one piece of an interview and using it to prop up an article that takes the original way out of context? Thats not just poor journalism, thats just SHADY.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 11:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LukeJoe
      LukeJoe

      One of the neat things Next Generation tried to do was suggest that gender roles would be all but eliminated in the 24th century. They dropped the idea pretty quickly but in the very early episodes you can see occasional male extras wearing the short dresses that some of the women also wore.

      Oh and Star Trek (Kurt/Spock era) takes place in the 23rd century, losers!

      Aug 6, 2011 at 11:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CrisP
      CrisP

      I agree with Abrams. Has anyone seen Torchwood – where everything gay is a perpetual stupid distracting subplot.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      @velocifero:

      Agreed. What was suppose to be an exciting look into the early years of Spock and Capt. Kirk, ended up being a soap opera.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      @LukeJoe:

      but in the very early episodes you can see occasional male extras wearing the short dresses that some of the women also wore.

      Yep. It was ridiculed then, and is still ridiculed today–by non sci-fi enthusiasts. It amazes me how open minded sci-fi fans are, and how closed minded the people who produce sci-fi are.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 12:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cinesnatch
      Cinesnatch

      He made Super 8.

      I am still blinded by those lens flares.

      The dude needs to make a great movie before I really care about his subplots.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Roger Rabbit
      Roger Rabbit

      DR. WHO & TORCHWOOD ANYONE?? No problem doing it there??

      Aug 6, 2011 at 2:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      It is an outright lie that there have been no gay characters in the Star Trek universe. Perhaps in the Prime universe where most of the episodes took place, sure. However, Malcolm Ried (Enterprise NX-01 tactical officer) was subtly played as gay by the actor. He was a never seen shacking up with female officers, and always seemed uncomfortable when the topic of sexuality was brought up.

      The there was Pa’nar Syndrome, which was used as a metaphor for HIV and was the topic of a whole episode. In the 22nd century, mind-melding was practiced only by a tiny minority of Vulcans who were considered “deviants”. Improperly performed melds could lead to a condition known as Pa’nar Syndrome, which gradually caused Vulcans to lose control over their emotions and could eventually be fatal. Because of the stigma of deviancy attached, officials ignored it and didn’t devote any resources towards finding a cure.

      In the Mirror Universe, the counterpart to Major Kira was openly bisexual. She aggressively courted her Prime Universe counterpart, and had both males and females in her harem.

      Also in DS9, Obsidian Order member-turned-fashion-designer Garak was portrayed as very theatrical with a hint of effeminacy. Until the writers shoehorned him into a romance with a very young Cardassian girl, it was widely assumed by fans that he was gay.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      @Riker: I watched Star Trek. I like the idealism of it. But a show that started out as a vanguard of thought about a hopeful future lags severely on the subject of sex, sexuality, gender and sexual orientation. Nothing that you list helps your case regarding the MSM Star Trek universe.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      If you have a cast of more than a couple dozen, but there are no gay characters, that would be very odd indeed. Sort of like having no black characters, or no females.

      Fifty years ago, when ST was new, no one expected a show to have any gay characters.

      Now, the only reason for such a show to have no gay characters is an intentional decision. That is — bigotry.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      @Steve: Exactly. Not only a case of a dozen, but casts, because we are discussing a universe with multiple long running series and movie franchises. In that time, not only have there not been any recurring characters, but the best that they have been able to do is middle hint at LBGT existence. What makes it worse is the premise of the show- about the far future where man has found peace- does not include LGBTs, which raises the question- what happened to us?

      Aug 6, 2011 at 4:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      @Steve: Yes, it was an internal decision. For a long time, it was executives at Paramount who forbade it. Several times during TNG, DS9 and VOY the writers tried to add a gay character but the executives refused. When they managed to slip on by, like Garak on DS9, the execs forced that horribly-written romance between him and Gul Dukat’s daughter, who’s name escapes me at the moment

      Aug 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nep
      Nep

      @o: You haven’t read the books, have you? Dumbledore isn’t revealed to be gay for no reason. He was in love with a guy a long time ago and it didn’t end well. In fact, that kind of falling out was crucial to making the Elder Wands change hands. But you know, go ahead and make broad criticisms.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dirk
      Dirk

      Way to take a quote out of context and distort Abrams’ viewpoint with your headline. Jesus, read the interview. It’s a completely benign point he’s making, and this article is a trashy attempt at creating controversy where there’s none. To be honest, it seems more like Abrams is IN FAVOR of having a homosexual character in the movie.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      @Dirk: The quote has to be taken in the context of the show, inclusiveness of others in the past and general overall history.

      His comment can only be seen as okay if one is not a geek like me who knows the shows history and realize its bullshit. In the entire history of the show, there has never been a chance to tell a story about a gay character, really? That may not be what he meant, but the concept alone is insulting. I say that as a novice writer who has to deal with gay people who regularly don’t understand why I am including a gay character for whom the gay part is not the thrust of the story, but just who the person is dating.

      The reality is that these views of gays ,a nd how our stories should be told, is a big problem. It affects not just straights and how we see our stories, but how gay people themselves see our stories. Having a gay character should be no more an extra effort than having a straight one. And yet, every story is indeed. straight.

      Most impostantly, it totally distorts the weight of human history , of which we have been a part. Just as important, it gives the impression that there is something wrong with us or must be handled with care rather than normalized just like two straight holding hands on any corner USA is normalized.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 9:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      let me say this briefly: Anyone accepting the idea that having a gay character equals an agenda anymore than having all straight characters equals one (especially on a show that is nothing but liberal political agenda) is either dealing with internal homophobia or not very smart.

      Aug 6, 2011 at 9:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      I really don’t see what the big deal is in having a gay character: all they have to do is to show him holding hands with his boyfriend once or twice with nobody batting an eyelash, just as no one would if a straight guy was holding hands with his girlfriend. He doesn’t have to mention that he is gay and probably shouldn’t because several centuries from now, nobody will care. The reason for not mentioning it would be the same reason for not mentioning other aspects of one’s personal life when busy at work – when there are time critical tasks to complete (e.g., so the bad guys don’t blow you out of the water), anything else would be a distraction.

      Aug 7, 2011 at 1:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf
      Ganondorf

      Completely agreed. Oh, and fuck you, JJ ABRAMS! You talentless CUNT! Coffee goffer for Spielberg.

      Aug 7, 2011 at 2:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryan
      Ryan

      It wouldn’t matter to me if there was no gays in the story if Zachary Quinto was openly gay and the studio didn’t care that a gay actor was fronting their movie. That would show their intentions have noting to do with homophobia..or afraid of the audiences homophobia. But I suspect he’s not allowed to talk about it so J.J’s comments ring hollow to me.

      Aug 7, 2011 at 2:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      @B: That’s exactly how it was handled on the show Caprica with Sam Adama. It was handled from the perspective of a society in which no one even considered that his homosexuality is an issue. It is literally not what the story or character is about because it is a non issue. The only thing that makes it an “issue” now is the blatant elimination of it in an idealized future, which implies we are somehow wiped out or not a part of that future. Its fucked up.

      Aug 7, 2011 at 2:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      @B: @B: For example, Sam (or his brother- I can’t remember which, but I think it was the Sam to convince his nephew that Sam’s brother isn’t a bad man) tells the story of him and his brother hanging out and being brash. He mentions that this father was chasing after some girl and he was always chasing after some boy. Neither character makes a big deal of the moment regarding the sexual orientation reveal. The story being told wasn’t about Sam liking boys. It was about being brash and young and what the two brothers did so that the nephew could understand his father better. That’s not complicated to do if one is a good writer. The implications out of Hollywood is that they aren’t that good at writing.

      Aug 7, 2011 at 2:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      @B: found the clip

      ignore all the b.s. commentary. the commentator does not understand the character- who is not evil or a monster although he is a hit man.

      Aug 7, 2011 at 2:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • zrocqs
      zrocqs

      @J.: No, I don’t think its right. But I think its accurate.

      @Chris: You(!) stated there was no malice. I agreed. However, the quote cited in the headline was passive, and it *was* a quote from JJ Abrams. Mr. Abrams phrased his response passively in order to placate Queer readers (i.e: this is an attitude with which I must contend), while using buzz-word, dog-whistle terminology that will resonate with lame-brained conservatives.

      Aug 7, 2011 at 4:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bilbo
      Bilbo

      There’s always Doctor Who….

      Aug 7, 2011 at 7:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Funny how putting Spoke and Uhura together in a relationship in the last movie wasn’t considered distrating.

      Aug 7, 2011 at 8:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Trey Zinbox
      Trey Zinbox

      Yes, but they found a way to do that very well in the Caprica (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caprica_%28TV_series%29 prequel series to Battlestar Galactica)…Not just homosexual relationships, but also polygamous relationships very well.

      Aug 7, 2011 at 9:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      @Cam: In hindsight, it was. After that, fanatics started going through TOS with a fine-tooth comb, looking for any signs of a relationship between them. The scary thing is, they think they found evidence. Lots of other fans were pissed off by it. It *did* distract from the plot.

      Aug 7, 2011 at 10:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ambrose
      Ambrose

      Mindless, unselfconscious homophobia. The way to just casually have glbt characters without it becoming a distracting subplot is casually to introduce glbt characters without making it a distracting subplot. You know, just like happens in worksites and circles of acquaintance around the country all the time. Duh.

      Aug 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      @Riker: what has that got to do with the general public versus fanatics?

      Aug 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Red Meat
      Red Meat

      I agree with Queerty on this one. Why does it have to be such a big deal if you d it?

      Aug 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tommy
      Tommy

      @Riker: Riker, you should think less about the 24th century and a little more about how to bring your own views into the 21st.

      ” However, Malcolm Ried (Enterprise NX-01 tactical officer) was subtly played as gay by the actor. He was a never seen shacking up with female officers, and always seemed uncomfortable when the topic of sexuality was brought up.

      Also in DS9, Obsidian Order member-turned-fashion-designer Garak was portrayed as very theatrical with a hint of effeminacy.”

      Here’s some news for you Riker: portraying a gay character on TV does not mean portraying an asexual character who has hang-ups about sex. Those are not the same thing. And another newsflash for you: portraying a character who is “very theatrical with a hint of effeminacy” is not portraying a gay character. Do you think that all portrayals of successful businesspeople are really subtle portrayals of Jews? Or maybe every time a street criminal is portrayed on a cop show, that “counts” as a Black portrayal? Seriously, if you are going to demonstrate that degree of retrograde stereotyping, then please take a name other than that of our beloved Number One.

      Aug 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      @Tommy: Erm, in both of those cases, the actor/writer *intended* for the character to be gay, but they couldn’t overrule the producers so they did it as best they could. I remember seeing an interview with the actor who portrayed Malcolm; when asked why he was never involved in any romances, he said something along the lines of “I always thought he was gay. I certainly played him that way.” I saw a similar interview with a DS9 writer.

      So my comments weren’t based solely on the stereotypes, they were actually researched. If you have a successful businessman on screen, and the writer says that he was meant to be Jewish, then yes it is a Jewish character.

      On that note, Star Trek wasn’t very jew-friendly either. Rather than omit them, though, they created the Ferengi as a blatant parody.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 1:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • xiaojiaoas
      xiaojiaoas

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      Aug 8, 2011 at 3:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eddie
      Eddie

      WARNING! This is a short excerpt of a longer interview that has been totally published and taken out of context. Good job Queerty.

      I see what Abrams is saying here. If you read the entire interview (again, this is a short snippet of the interview) what he is actually saying is that he doesn’t know why there hasn’t been a gay character in any of the television shows. He also says that he’d love to introduce a gay character as long as it’s in a respectful way and is not contrived, and I agree with that.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 4:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      @Riker:What the actor “intended” and what was understood by the audience is two different things. Actors often have an inner dialogue that they use to perform their character. its call the acting process. it does not mean they know anything about story whatsoever and whwether what they are doing is being understood as what they mean by the audience. The audience isn’t engaged in mind reading.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 11:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      @Eddie: Do you read other people’s comment before posting? Just curious. I try to. The reason why id o that is to see what I am about to say has already been rebutted or not.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 11:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HAL
      HAL

      @Wombat: THANK YOU.

      My thoughts exactly. It doesn’t need more than a few seconds of screen time, or could even just be something for the extras to do, as opposed to a “distracting” subplot.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Laura
      Laura

      Kirk and Spock are the first Gay couple on TV. Why agitate for a new Gay character at this late stage? Agitate for Kirk and Spock to be formally acknowledged, instead.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • aspertame
      aspertame

      I’m a straight female, and it strikes me as rather odd that for 45 years, Trek has conspicuously avoided (that is what it is at this point) portraying same-sex relationships. But then this latest reboot “reimagines” Uhura as a brilliant, ambitious, take-no-flak officer who still sees fit to make out (modestly, okay, but srsly?) with Spock on the transporter pad, and has evidently attained the coveted role of Smurfette in Trek’s (still) all-boy club. Where a boy loves his mom, back on Earth –or Vulcan — where she belongs.

      Abrams has opted for the 1960s shaggalicious, bromance-y, but never overtly gay groove, for his trek reboot. The style is just a little precious at this point for my taste, but I’m not sure why anyone is particularly surprised that “out” gays are just as welcome in this Trekverse as fat chix, long skirts, or long-term romantic/sexual attachments.

      Aug 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mav
      Mav

      <>

      This. Except replace “in the Star Trek universe” with “any movie-verse ever”.

      I actually think showing gay folks serving openly in Star Fleet – however unobtrusively -would be a really interesting plot point, simply because of the historical significance of the upcoming DADT repeal in our REAL armed forces. It would be a nice nod to the LGBT military commmunity, in any case.

      Aug 9, 2011 at 11:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spirk Fan/Professional Writer
      Spirk Fan/Professional Writer

      I would almost understand where Abrams was coming from with a writer’s perspective, were it not for the totally unneeded and frankly unwarranted relationship between Spock and Uhara. Seriously, the hell? We can randomly throw that in there, but oh lawdy! Adding a gay character, or better yet, using that bizarre relationship for some much needed Kirk/Spock tension would simply be too much! Hell if they did that then it could be a major plot-relative device. Oh, but wait. I forgot. Main characters can’t EVER be gay outside of Showtime, because it might upset the heterosexual viewers. Seriously. We are still a disgusting race.

      But really, I’m just full of fanrage. I would be content without a gay character in Star Trek IF we could be provided the same service with the rest of the sexualities. Basically, gay love or no love and I’m really not being sarcastic. Star Trek would be fine without a romance.

      Jul 18, 2012 at 6:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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