Simon Pegg thinks it is "unfortunate" that George Takei is disappointed the Star Trek character Hikaru Sulu has been written as gay in the new movie.
The 46-year-old star is responsible for writing the script for Star Trek Beyond with Doug Jung in which John Cho's version of the USS Enterprise helmsman is in a same-sex relationship.
Takei portrayed Sulu in the original 1960s TV series and has come out against the creative decision as, in his opinion, it goes against franchise creator Gene Roddenberry's vision.
Takei, who is openly homosexual and an LGBT rights activist, had said: "Unfortunately, it's a twisting of Gene's creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it's really unfortunate."
Now Pegg has hit back saying it was important to represent the LGBT community in the "most inclusive, tolerant universe in science fiction" without making a big deal of introducing a "gay character".
In a statement released to the Guardian newspaper on Friday, Pegg said: "I have huge love and respect for George Takei, his heart, courage and humour are an inspiration. However, with regards to his thoughts on our Sulu, I must respectfully disagree with him."
Suggesting that to make a new character gay would merely be an act of tokenism, he continued: "He's right, it is unfortunate, it's unfortunate that the screen version of the most inclusive, tolerant universe in science fiction hasn't featured an LGBT character until now.
"We could have introduced a new gay character, but he or she would have been primarily defined by their sexuality, seen as the 'gay character', rather than simply for who they are, and isn't that tokenism?"
"[Director] 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. Also, the audience would infer that there has been an LGBT presence in the Trek Universe from the beginning."
- Bang! Showbiz