George Takei Wields Social Media Power to Support Gay Boy Scout Web Series
BY Daniel Reynolds
August 11 2014 1:25 PM ET
George Takei has helped a Web series about gay issues in the Boy Scouts meet its fundraising goal.
The To Be Takei star, who boasts over 7 million followers on Facebook, urged his fans Friday to support the Indiegogo campaign of Camp Abercorn, a Web series launched by a gay Eagle Scout.
A former Boy Scout, Takei threw his support behind the project since it tackles the youth organization’s discriminatory ban on gay members over the age of 18. The group has dropped its ban on gay youth members but still will not let openly gay adults serve.
“This is an excellent new Web series in the final hours of its crowd funding campaign. The filmmaker — a gay Eagle Scout — shines light on the Boy Scouts of America, both what it stands for, and the controversies it still faces,” the gay actor wrote on his Facebook page.
“As a former Boy Scout myself, it pains me deeply that the BSA still boots out gay scouts when they turn 18,” he continued. “This Web series will help educate and inform, as well as entertain. That gets a big thumbs up from me. Let’s make this happen — even a few dollars could help them meet their goal tonight.”
Before Takei’s post, Camp Abercorn was about $10,000 short of its $100,000 goal, which it was required to meet by midnight that day. Thanks in part to the Star Trek actor’s spotlight, the project raised $100, 427, which will fund the pilot episode. A first season of seven 30-minute episodes is in the works, with a planned release on YouTube.
Series creator Jeffrey Simon thanked Takei in a special video that featuring expressions of gratitude from cast and crew after the successful crowdsourcing effort. “George Takei liked our show. It’s amazing!” he said. A graphic of a rainbow scout patch, which read “George Takei Likes Camp Abercorn,” was also posted to the campaign’s site.
“We are so thankful to George Takei,” producer Matt Andrews told The Wrap. “The next challenge is convincing him to be in the show."
This is not the first time Takei has advocated for an end to discrimination in the BSA. In 2012 the gay activist marched in the New York Pride parade in full scouting attire to call for an end to the ban against gay members.
“Some of my best memories from my boyhood are of my scouting days,” Takei told GLAAD at the time. “I played bass bugle in our troop’s drum and bugle corps. We marched in Fourth of July parades. We learned teamwork and brotherhood from camping together. The Boy Scouts built my character. As an adult, I was shocked and deeply disappointed to learn that the Scouts discriminate against LGBT people. This is contrary to the ideals of equality and fair play that I hold dear. The Boy Scouts must change.”
Watch the trailer for Camp Abercorn below.