The original series of “Star Trek” in the 1960s launched George Takei's fame, but he is as well known as ever today as an author, actor, Internet guru and social and political activist.
He is in Oklahoma City this weekend as part of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic's “Sci-Fi Spectacular,” which he narrates as the orchestra plays music from popular science fiction movies and shows.
Friday in Oklahoma City, he visited with The Oklahoman and NewsOK about the show, his career, his Internet fame and his advocacy for marriage equality and his own wedding to Brad (Altman) Takei in 2008. He also talked about his latest project, a musical called “Allegiance” that he developed about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
Although Takei and his family were American, they were among those imprisoned after the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.
“Because of that childhood, I felt it very important that we know about our dark chapters because we learn more from how to improve our democracy from those chapters where we faltered than continuously getting all the glorious chapters,” Takei said. “The fact that people don't know about it concerns me very much.”
Takei said he started using social media initially because of an interest in promoting “Allegiance,” and his status on the Internet grew. His Facebook page now has nearly 5 million fans.
His initial followers included a base of science fiction “geeks and nerds,” he said, and then he added funny commentary and Internet memes. Later came posts about social issues he cared about as well as posts about the Japanese-American internment.
“It is humor that is the honey that I use to keep them coming back,” said Takei, whose social media efforts led to his book “Oh Myyy! (There Goes The Internet).” “I had no idea it was going to grow that fast, but you live and learn. It is an amazing medium.”
Scan this QR code or go online to NewsOK.com to see a video interview of George Takei in Oklahoma City.
For information about the Oklahoma City Philharmonic performance, go to www.okcphil
I felt it very important that we know about our dark chapters because we learn more from how to improve our democracy from those chapters where we faltered than continuously getting all the glorious chapters.”