George Takei is “eager” to see a new openly gay character in the upcoming CBS series Star Trek: Discovery.

“I'm eager to see him,” Takei said during Saturday's Unforgettable Gala, where he was presented with the ICON Award.

Anthony Rapp, who originated the role of Mark Cohen in the Broadway musical Rent, will play Lieutenant Stamets, an openly gay “fungus expert and a Starfleet science officer,” on Discovery.

Takei, whose character of Hikaru Sulu on the original series was revealed to be gay in this year's Star Trek Beyond, also explained how he had attempted to persuade creator Gene Roddenberry to include a gay storyline during the show's original run.

“Gene created all of the characters as straight characters. Because of the times, it could not be on the air if you have a gay character. In fact, we had one episode where the white captain, Kirk, kissed the black Uhura, and that show was blacked out – literally blacked out – in the Southern areas. Stations in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia refused to air it. We hit rock bottom.”

“I was lobbying Gene to do an episode that deals with LGBT issues and equality,” Takei explained. “He said, ‘I’m aware of that and I support that but I’m walking a tightrope. I can’t step a little too far or the show will be canceled.'”

“But those days are past,” he added.