Why weren’t there any gay people on Star Trek?

George Takei
George Takei AP

“I did very privately bring up the issue of gays and lesbians [to Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry]. And he was certainly, as a sophisticated man, mindful of that, but he said — in one episode, [1968’s “Plato’s Stepchildren”] — we had a biracial kiss; Captain Kirk and Uhura had a kiss. That show was literally blacked out in the South: Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia didn’t air that; our ratings plummeted. It was the lowest-rated episode that we had. And [Roddenberry] said, ‘I’m treading a fine tight wire here. I’m dealing with issues of the time. I’m dealing with the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and I need to be able to make that statement by staying on the air. If I dealt with that issue I wouldn’t be able to deal with any issue because I would be canceled.’”

–George Takei, in a new video for Big Think, which you can watch below:

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