George Takei Receives Actors Diversity Award

Last night at the East West Players Theater in Los Angeles, Star Trek’s original Sulu, George Takei was one of four honorees at 7th Annual Ivy Bethune Tri-Union Diversity Awards. We have details and photos from the event, including other Trek celebs who attended.


Takei honored for activism
The Ivy Bethune Tri-Union Diversity Awards is held annually by the Screen Actors Guild, Actors Equity and the American Federation of Television artists. The wards honor "individuals and organizations in the performing arts that have taken an active stand to make a difference toward a more representational, multicultural community by helping build a foundation for diversity within the industry." George Takei was one of four honorees in 2009, and he was given the award "for his long-standing history of activism for artists of every race and creed, in addition to his very high profile work on issues of marriage equality and sexual orientation discrimination." The other honorees for this year were dancer Cheryl Burke (Dancing With the Stars), comedian Charlie Hill, and writer/actor Dr. Victoria Ann Lewis.

Originally Star Trek’s new Sulu, John Cho, was going to be presenting the award to Takei, but had to cancel at the last minute due to his shooting schedule. However, Takei’s Star Trek co-star Nichelle Nichols was there, along with with Voyager’s Garrett Wang.

Once again, friend-of-the-site Al Ortega has provided us with event photos, with Takei and other Star Trek celebrities who attended.

Click on any photo to enlarge.

Takei arriving at the Ivy Behtune Tri-Union Diversity Awards

Takei with other honorees Charlie Hill and Cheryl Burke.

Takei with TOS co-star Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols again

Garrett Wang (VOY – Ens. Kim)

Al photos by Albert L. Ortega. Al’s Photos are available at


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

“Oh, my!!”

Wow….Nichell looks great.

Wow…Cheryl looks great.

Doesn’t she though? I noticed this in the other story about the BET awards. The remaining TOS stars are so vibrant and full-of-life…50-some years after the series ended!! I hope to be just like them when I get into my seventies.

I really like Nichelle’s silver ‘do!

Nichelle is amazing! She is hotttt!

Garret looks a bit chubby if i do say so.

Congrats to George! Well done!

Congrats to George! I only hope that when the new cast starts getting on in years, one or more of them will get as involved in public service, advocacy and activism as Mr. Takei has done.

Seeing the TOS crew getting awards like this is a nice spin-off to the burst of publicity generated by the new movie. The fact that they’re getting back in the public eye so soon before and after the new film is no coincidence.

Ditto on the aging thing. A cultural concept in SE Asia is that the elderly become ‘works of art’ in their latter years, creating a different kind of beauty based on inner character. We’re fortunate that they are all still around; the recent passing of Mr Jackson is proof that celebrity is not immune to untimely deaths, and in certain cases, may speed along the process of decline.

LOL Garrett Wang! (in a good way) Seeing this recent pic reminds me of Takei’s ‘long-hair phase’ in the early 70s, several years post-TOS. Garrett seems to be carrying on the tradition…there should always be a hippie or two in the Trek universe at any given time, considering the genesis of the show occurred during the Hippie Renaissance…

Congratulations to George Takei!

Congrats George. Nichelle needs a part in the next movie. She is beautiful.

WOW Give those two a show! Nichelle is stunning!

You’re gonna kill me, but in one of those photos, Nichelle looks like the salt vampire.

#13 – EW

Congrats George! He and Nichelle both look great.

But Garrett should get another hairdresser ASAP.

George always has a smile on his face, good for him. Having met him on a couple occasions, he is a really friendly down to earth person. Congrats to George.

If Mr. Takei had not come out of the closet, he would have just faded into the semi-obscurity that the other TOS supporting cast now enjoy. Ever since, it seems that to prove how much more “tolerant” and “diverse” they are than the rest of us savages, the entertainment industry and the news media can’t stop from tripping over themselves to extol his virtues.

17. Yes sir, you put the words in my mouth. You are indeed a savage.

Can’t you just be happy for their efforts. Your statement here proves that there is much work to be done.

18. Yes sir, you put the words in my mouth. You are indeed a savage.

Work to be done on what exactly? More recogntiion for “diversity”. Whatever the hell that means exactly? That we all have to ackwnoledge that he is an Asian/American minority or an Asian/American/Gay minority?
I respect Takei, Nichols and all the rest for their contributions to Trek and the cultural arts in general. I am VERY happy for him and his being honored but this so called “Diversity and Multiculturalism” I am sure began with good intent but unfortunately has really become a bunch of PC nonsense that exists in a society that is supposed to be moving towards color and racial blindness. Which, by the way, MOST of Americans subscribes to including this “savage”. I personally do not care that he is Gay, Asian or whatever as most Americans feel.

I would like to clarify the intent of my message for all and especially I’m Dead Jim. My objection is not with Mr. Takei’s sexual preference. It is with the way hollywood and the media have now elevated the social standing and the societal importance of this man above his co-stars. Solely because, in my opinion, his openly gay. He may very well be a great man, but is any better than Walter Koenig, or Nichelle Nichols. But we don’t see them appearing on reality shows or being showered with accolades the way Mr. Takei has.

Here’s a dangerous concept… Find the best *person* for the job. Not because of race, creed, color, orientation, or choice of dental floss.

Props to George, and whoever else works for the end of discrimination in all its forms. Rocks to those who ride the bandwagon without making the effort.

I would also like to clarify the intent of my message. Just the fact that people get upset about “diversity” being celebrated like in this article shows a lack of tolerance. If you are happy for George like you say then why be angry about it at all? It’s a waste of your energy.

If your problem is really with the media blowing diversity out of proportion then cut way back on your media intake. I have. But don’t blame George Takei for, in true American fashion, seizing subsequent opportunities to promote himself and other like minded people. If MOST Americans were supportive of people like George Takei, then same sex people getting married and fighting for their country would not be such a hot political issue, would it?

I don’t mean to accuse individuals over a sensitive issue as I believe you are both probably good people. I really think that ultimately this article is nothing to get upset about. If you are upset, then you need to look deep inside yourself for the solution to the problem. I know that I do as well. MOST people should. That is all.

#20–They might be being a bit biased, but right now, their being biased is helping to get all the real savages who aren’t willing to acknowledge equality in all to see the truth. They are fawning over him more than other TOS stars, but in these days and times he is being an activist by being openly gay and promoting it. That’s why they are all fawning over him.

21. Here’s a dangerous concept… Find the best *person* for the job. Not because of race, creed, color, orientation, or choice of dental floss.

Agreed! There are risky consequences at either extreme. I think a recent court ruling may somewhat turn the tide on that issue.

Takei and the rest of his family were sent to a concentration camp during the Second World War. He was five years old. Nichols lived through segregation and the Civil Rights Movement.

If you have to ask why those two might hold the concept of “diversity” in high regard, then your lack of understanding does not stem from ignorance of the English language. It stems from your desire to protect your own power and social status. Please don’t insult our collective intelligence by pretending you don’t know what the word means.

Real savages eat microphones for breakfast.

I don’t get how “diversity” applies to homosexuality because homosexuality celebrates sameness.”Homo” defined means “same”.
Perhaps “diversity” in this case is more of a pitch word for the activists.

To 17 (Twiki79), who says “If Mr. Takei had not come out of the closet, he would have just faded into the semi-obscurity that the other TOS supporting cast now enjoy.”

That’s simply not true. Long before Takei made his sexual preference public, he was an active community volunteer and supporter. He is past member of the L.A. Chamber of Commerce, past chair of the Japanese American National Museum’s council of governors, and current chair of the East West Players. He’s VERY active locally, and gives away a great deal of his personal time for free. There are many who disagree with his position on gay marriage, who nonetheless respect all of his great work of selflessness, charity, and volunteerism with numerous other causes.

The biggest shame is that his orientation often gets the spotlight, despite his intense work in other areas that have nothing to do with his gender preserence.

I, for one, could care less whether someone is gay or straight in Hollywood because it has no direct impact on my life.

However, I find it sad that if one makes even the slightest comment that might be “offensive” to someone of pro-gay leanings, they are immediately branded a hater, an intolerant redneck, or worse.

It’s really too bad that the art of conversation has sunk to this level. Politics of any kind used to be able to be discussed in a rational matter. Unfortunately, I have to partially blame the public school system for not teaching our population how to have public discourse. I also blame a large portion of the public for reveling in, no…strike that, celebrating, their ignorance.

Oh, and by the way, congrats George on your award. Now, back to your bashing counter-opinions…

Yeah for Takei! He and Nichelle Nichols are both aging very gracefully. =) I like seeing them in press photos together, aha. Both very photogenic.

Well said Tony

Most of those responding to my post are missing my point. My comments we not directed towards Mr. Takei, his lifestyle, or his accomplishments. But rather towards the news and entertainment industry that has heaped such attention and accolades on him since and for the reason of his coming out.

#17: I would say that none of the cast has really faded into obscurity. Granted, we don’t see them on TV as much as we used to. I would have to say that typecasting was more the cause of that than anything. How many other casts of old TV shows have had careers after their shows went away? Seriously, when was the last time we saw the cast members from “Dallas, Lost in Space” or say, “Charlie’s Angels?”

That said:

Walter Koenig has had a busy career of his coosing and he was a semi-regular and integral player on “Babylon 5” as the evil ‘Bester.’

Both Nichols and Takei have been VERY active in their pursuit of social issues… amongst Nichols’ work was with NASA in the 1980s and 90s; Takei in a number of social causes as well as serving in politics.. not to mention that the latter have played on NBC-TV’s “Heroes.” I really could care less that George is gay… he is who is….

#25: Agreed! and well said, JohnWA!

I have never been a huge fan of PC, BUT I am a big proponent of diversity and equality, so I have to say I never cease to be amazed by the negativity of so many people who post here on this site. It’s really quite embarrassing.

To think so many people who purportedly believe in the ideals that “Star Trek” promotes, yet seem so blind… OR maybe people just watch TREK for the pretty blinking lights, cool spaceships and phasers? I hope that isn’t the case.

One of my friends with whom I served with in Afghanistan said it best, “don’t be a hater!”

#27: don’t be silly.

AND lastly… Congrats to George! and agreed with all the other posting, Nichelle looks AWESOME!!!


in my posting (#32)

coosing = choosing

#13: “You’re gonna kill me, but in one of those photos, Nichelle looks like the salt vampire.”

Methinks you need to get your eyes checked out.. or a new pair of glasses.
I hope to look that good when I am 70.

To #32.
“Silly” ?More Ironic that people going around preaching “diversity” are actually practicing “sameness”.
My point was that “homo” means same and “homosexual” means same sexual.

#35: splitting hairs here, while homosexual may mean same sex, there is nothing remotely “same” about any two individuals (straight or otherwise)… that, my friend, is an impossibility, which is how I view diversity-reveling in the differences that we each possess.