Oh My! Star Trek Legend George Takei Beaming Up To CSUN, Nov. 15
Hollywood icon, social media star and activist George Takei will be going where he has gone before during a lecture on his life behind-the-scenes at California State University, Northridge on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Valley Performing Arts Center.
Takei, best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek, will be lecturing attendees about two important issues that helped shape the person he is today.
“The two parallels in my life, being a Japanese American who was imprisoned during the second World War and being a gay person who was treated like a criminal simply for being who I am, are the two issues that have been defining for me,” Takei said. “To be able to raise that awareness in younger people so that we might have both these stories worked into our history has been my goal.”
Takei is a third-generation American whose grandparents came from Japan. His mom was from Sacramento, his dad was a San Franciscan, and he was born in Los Angeles. However, from the age of 5 to 9, Takei and his parents were put in internment camps during World War II in California and later in Arkansas.
“We were Americans and we were innocent besides looking like people who bombed Pearl Harbor,” Takei said. “Society made me feel like there was something bad for being a Japanese American.”
Takei will also talk in depth about his experiences of being a gay actor and his activism in the LGBTQ community.
“I was closeted for most of my life because I’m in a very public profession,” Takei said. “To be cast, I couldn’t be known as a gay person, so I was closeted living a double life.”
Much of Takei’s fame today comes from his strong social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, where he has almost 12 million combined followers.
According to Takei, he first took to social media in 2008 to spread awareness about the development of Allegiance, a musical Takei starred in about his life in the internment camp, which premiered on Broadway in 2015.
“I thought social media would be an ideal way to raise awareness about the musical,” Takei said. “At that time, my base was primarily sci-fi geeks and nerds, but through trial and error I found that humor was what got the most likes and shares. As my audience grew, I started incorporating the fact I grew up in United States imprisonment as a child.”
Allegiance was filmed and will be in local movie theaters on Dec. 13.
To attend the Takei lecture, CSUN students, faculty and staff can purchase tickets at the VPAC ticket office for $5 with a valid CSUN I.D. The general public can buy tickets for $20 at Ticketmaster.
“These issues [I’ll be talking about] are very relevant to our times — only last June the Supreme Court ruled marriage as a national equality,” Takei said. “I am gratified I can contribute to people working together in concert. Just like in Star Trek, diversity coming together and working as a team.”