Takei to WB: Do the Right Thing

BY Ross von Metzke

April 18 2011 7:05 PM ET

GEORGE TAKEI HEADSHOT X390What would you ideally like to see happen with the Akira adaptation?
Well,
ideally, they should do it properly and get Asian-American actors cast
in those roles. In the adaptation they would of course be speaking in
English and understandable to a popular American audience. That’s the
whole point. They bought a project that is popular and enormously loved
by its fans, and if they want the fan following to support the film,
that’s the way you do it.

In addition to championing diversity in
Hollywood, you are also working on behalf of Social Security with a new
PSA with Patty Duke. Why is this issue important to you?

Well, you
know, my thing has been to fight for equality. I’m married now, and there
are certain benefits from Social Security which opposite-sex couples
have that same-sex couples do not enjoy, even if we are legally married
in California, because Social Security is a federal program. There are
those who say, “I’m going to criticize it from the outside.” For
example, I was active during the 1970s and 1980s in getting redress
from the United States government for the unconstitutional internment of
Japanese-Americans during the Second World War. There were some people
that were so embittered that they said, “I’m not going to be a voter. I’m not going to participate in this system. It’s a sham.” I was active
in the democratic process, I was a volunteer in various democratic
campaigns, because I believe real change comes by working in the
process. It’s the same thing with Social Security. If we want equality,
we have to be in there. I had discussions with the Social Security Administration when they asked me to do this PSA, and it’s with that
common understanding that, when I do the promotional round, I could speak
out on the issue of equality.

Was it a condition of your involvement?
I
would have done the PSAs anyway, but I wanted to make sure they
understood where I was coming from. I don’t like to be confrontational
about things. You want to be on a good working basis with people, so I
had that discussion and they agreed, they understood, and they agreed I
could speak out on it. So with that understanding, I was more than happy
to participate.





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