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George Takei Responds To Star Trek: Discovery's Diversity Controversy

George Takei Star Trek

Michelle Yeoh Sonequa Martin-Green Star Trek: Discovery

(Image credit: Photo courtesy of CBS)

While many are excited for Star Trek: Discovery to air, the series has sparked a bit of controversy with its diverse cast. In what some communities are referring to as "white genocide in space," the supposed lack of white representation in the new show has upset some folks. Star Trek franchise vet George Takei appeared on MSNBC and responded to the diversity controversy:

Now these so-called trolls haven't seen a single episode of the new series, because it hasn't been aired. And they don't know the history of Star Trek [either] ... Gene Roddenberry created this with the idea of finding strength in our diversity -- and also the delight of life in diversity. We had a guiding acronym -- IDIC -- which stood for infinite diversity in infinite combinations. We boldly went where we hadn't gone before because we were curious about what's out there. And when you go out into space, you are going to have even greater diversity.

Indeed, the basis of Star Trek from its very beginnings seems to have been rooted in diversity. Long before Michelle Yeoh or Sonequa Martin-Green joined the cast of Star Trek: Discovery, you had people like Nichelle Nichols and, of course, George Takei paving the way for an evolving sci-fi in the late 1960s. As I'm sure many reading this know, William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols made history in 1968 with television's first interracial kiss. (A disputable issue, but still.)

Going back to Takei's point to MSNBC, those who complain about the lack of diversity in Star Trek are, regardless to whether or not they've been following the new series, perhaps blind to the fact that the series has always embraced diversity. And if they were looking into the current batch of cast members, they would know that the series does feature quite a few white actors and actresses.

George Takei Star Trek

The acronym that George Takei mentions as the guiding principle for Star Trek is actually a part of the official lore. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations is the basis of Vulcan philosophy, and a symbol Spock is seen to wear in the Star Trek series. (Leonard Nimoy was reportedly not a fan of the symbol and claimed Gene Roddenberry created it as a way to sell more replica merchandise to the fans, though there's no word on how he felt about the concept itself.) If you look around the various Star Trek shows you'll see the IDIC symbol, which looks like a pyramid with a star on top with a larger crescent like circle encompassing it, in various Vulcan scenes.

George Takei, and the rest of the world, will have to keep waiting to see Star Trek: Discovery, as the series has been scheduled for a fall premiere on the streaming platform CBS All Access, with no exact date given. You can sit around and wait for a more official time, or you can kill time with all the new television popping up every day! Check out our summer TV guide to see what's premiering and returning, and also keep tabs on when the show's your watching now will air their finales.

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.