Oh, My... George Takei, 'Star Trek' Star, Latest Hit With Sexual Assault Allegations
No Comment - Yet - from Television's Mr. Sulu
My heart hurt a little when I saw the item on Google Trends this morning.
There, sitting at #14 on Google Trends, were three terms I had hoped I wouldn't see: "George Takei, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, groping."
As an online writer who might score some hits with a post about this, I was intrigued. I write online, in part, to garner a little extra income, but it's also one of my passions. As a longtime Star Trek fan — it was a series that my mother, who was also a fan, introduced me to when I was little — I feel profoundly disappointed.
We live in a world of "innocent until proven guilty," and I am truly hopeful that Takei is innocent of these allegations. I follow him and his husband Brad on Facebook and find them to be very witty and thoughtful in what they post. They often lighten the mood on social media, while at the same time getting people to think about various things that are happening in the world.
However, in the world of social media, where both Brad and George Takei have very active presences, you often see people becoming vilified through the court of public opinion. It does not help right now that George Takei is reportedly travelling through Japan and Australia and is unavailable for comment, according to comments made by his representative, Julia Buchwald, to The Hollywood Reporter. Even a lack of a statement when accused can lead people to conclude that someone is guilty.
The problem is, now that George Takei has been accused of a decades-old sexual assault, his prior statements denigrating those who have committed sexual assault are now coming back to bite him in the butt and rightfully so.
“Men who improperly harass or assault do not do so because they are gay or straight — that is a deflection," Takei said to The Hollywood Reportervia a statement October 30. "They do so because they have the power, and they chose to abuse it.”
We don't know what happened in 1981 beyond the statements George Takei's accuser has made, but now, the accusation alone is bringing everything about sexual assault that Takei has said into question. What right has he to make statements against those accused of sexual assault when he may likely be a part of that terrible club himself?
Certainly, 1981 would have been an era where George Takei would have been enjoying a resurgence of popularity as Star Trek's original Mr. Sulu. Star Trek: Wrath Of Khan would have probably been finishing production (it dropped in 1982) and fans of the series would have simply been excited that their favorite space explorers were back. George Takei may well have been indulging in his own sense of celebrity — he was quite a bit younger then, and we have all been known to embrace our respective moments in the sun, though.
There is a distinct difference, though, between enjoying your moment and engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior. His accuser said that at one point while he and George Takei were enjoying some drinks, he suddenly felt ill and passed out. When he awoke, Takei was reportedly trying to take his underwear off. The accuser says that he just wants an apology from Takei, which may or may not be forthcoming, but the troubling part of all of this is George Takei's stance thus far on the Hollywood elite and sexual misconduct.
Stones and glass houses do not and have not ever mixed, and if it turns out that Takei acknowledges this alleged sexual assault did actually happen back in 1981, it means that Takei, who has been admired for his activism and his humor for some time, will have fallen from the pedestal that some have put him on.