NOTE: Article contains spoilers from last Sunday’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery
One of the big moments in last Sunday’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery (“Despite Yourself”) was the death of Dr. Culber, played by Wilson Cruz. Being that the publicity for the show promoted the diversity exemplified by the same-sex relationship between Culber and Lt. Stamets (Anthony Rapp), it appears there were concerns about how this death would be perceived. To get ahead of any potential backlash showrunners and Cruz were dispatched to give media interviews to a number of outlets, assuring fans that Culber will return, including Entertainment Weekly, Syfy and Variety.
According to Buzzfeed, the producers even sought guidance from the gay rights organization GLAAD and “received the organization’s blessing.” And the organization even issued a statement. Here is an excerpt via Variety:
“Alongside so many fans, GLAAD cheered the arrival of ‘Star Trek’s’ first gay relationship, and we share in their mourning over the death of a beloved groundbreaking character. Death is not always final in the ‘Star Trek’ universe, and we know the producers plan to continue exploring and telling Stamets and Culbers’ epic love story,” GLAAD spokesperson Nick Adams said in a statement. “Wilson Cruz has leveraged his talent as an actor to create a smart, lovable, and strong character in Dr. Culber, once again bursting through doors that were once closed to gay actors in Hollywood. We look forward to watching their love story unfold.”
Showrunner Aaron Harberts, who is gay, wanted it to be clear this wasn’t the end of this relationship:
Some really phenomenal stuff is coming, and if you think that the out gay showrunner and his more-than-supportive writing partner and friend of more than 20 years are just going to kill a gay character to be done with a gay character, you’re wrong.
And he also made this point on the official after show, After Trek on Sunday, as you can see from the clip below.
Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on the Space Channel and on Netflix outside the USA and Canada.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.