Out actor George Takei, who is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek, thinks now is the time for the movie franchise to include an LGBT character.

Speaking to Michigan gay weekly Pride Source, Takei was asked, “Do you think we'll ever see an out LGBT human on Star Trek?”

“I think now it's high time,” Takei answered. “I did very quietly bring up the subject to (Star Trek screenwriter) Gene Roddenberry when we were starting our movie series – our feature film series – and he said with television he had to walk a very tight rope. You know, we were dealing with issues at that time – the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the Cold War – and that episode where Kirk kissed Uhura, a white man kissing a black woman, that was blacked out in all of the Southern states: Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Our ratings plummeted!”

“[Gene] said he knows that the LGBT issue is a civil rights issue, but he had to keep the show on the air as a television series, and if he pushed the envelope too far he wouldn't be able to address any of the issues. He'd be canceled. Same thing with feature films now: bigger budget, higher risk. And he had said he's predicating a 23rd century when the LGBT issue would not be an issue, but it is an issue of our times that we're dealing with metaphorically in terms of science fiction and he wants to deal with it and still be able to make movies. He had said he hopes for the time that he will be able to do it.”

“Alas, Gene passed. It was in '91 that he passed, and we're 20 years-plus from that time. We've advanced with unimagined speed, and I think now it is high time Star Trek deal with the issue of LGBT equality. Now there are Star Trek actors who are out. Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock in the reboot, came out, and I am out.”

“With the two of us out, it is now safe for Star Trek to deal with LGBT equality,” Takei added.