When Star Trek Beyond hit theaters, Simon Pegg wasn’t shy about discussing how the film was an attack against surges in xenophobia and nativism in the US and UK — and now Pegg, director J.J. Abrams, and cast and crew from all corners of the Star Trek universe are speaking out as part of a group called Trek Against Trump.
In an open letter posted to Facebook yesterday, the group made its case, stating that Star Trek has always portrayed an inclusive future, where "people of all races are accorded equal respect and dignity, where individual beliefs and lifestyles are respected so long as they pose no threat to others." The racially charged presidential campaign of Donald Trump "stands in complete opposition to the ideals of the Star Trek universe," the letter says, before urging voters to register at Rock the Vote so they can oppose Trump’s candidacy.
Supporting the letter is a list of over 110 cast and crew members from the franchise, including Abrams, Pegg, Karl Urban, and Zachary Quinto (the new Trek film series); The Next Generation’s Wil Wheaton, Brent Spiner, and Gates McFadden; Walter Koenig, George Takei, and the families of both Leonard Nimoy and creator Gene Roddenberry from the original series; and countless others, including Star Trek Discovery showrunner Bryan Fuller. (Notably missing are Shatner and Captain Jean-Luc Picard himself, Patrick Stewart.)
The utopian vision that Roddenberry outlined in Trek was a progressive step forward when the show debuted in 1966, even featuring what is often seen as the first interracial kiss on network television in 1968. (William Shatner’s blustery performance of Captain Kirk as an interstellar ladies’ man, not quite as progressive.) But the show’s stance on social issues is undeniable, becoming such a strong part of Star Trek lore that Pegg and co-writer Doug Jung decided to pay homage to Roddenberry’s intent by including a brief moment in Beyond that revealed the character of Sulu as a happily married gay man and father.
We seem to be a long way from Roddenberry’s utopian vision
Donald Trump, on the other hand, announced his presidential bid by referring to Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists, and has been stoking the fires of racism, sexism, and fear on an almost daily basis. (Just this week, Trump spent the majority of his time bashing former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who became a focal point during Monday’s presidential debate when Hillary Clinton raised allegations that Trump had referred to Machado as "Miss Housekeeping" due to her Latino heritage.)
"We have heard people say they will vote Green or Libertarian or not at all because the two major candidates are equally flawed. That is both illogical and inaccurate," the letter from Trek Against Trump reads. "Vote for a future of enlightenment and inclusion, a future that will someday lead us to the stars."