John Cho’s “beacon”
Fortunata/ Wylde/ Splash News
I’m excited. John Cho has never been the first post since I started this blog a long time ago. But here’s John Cho in New York yesterday continuing to promote Star Trek Beyond. He’s been in every one of the (new) Star Trek movies. But he was never tasked with doing much press to promote them. That John is representing the film on the conventional press circuit is, to me, some progress. And he addressed the importance of this during his interviews.
Like Leslie Jones, who said on The View that watching Whoopi Goldberg on television as a kid changed her perspective about who was allowed to be on television, John Cho had a similar experience watching George Takei.
"I just didn't see anyone on TV who looked like me, and then I saw George Takei being cool and piloting the spaceship on television and I thought that, wow, there’s a beacon for me.”
This is exactly why diversity is critical. Because when someone like John talks about how George Takei was a “beacon”, it means that George’s example gave John reason to believe that he could be included, that his decisions would not be limited to boundaries that were decided by other people. It means that my cousin Cat’s two Asian sons perhaps won’t have to feel limited to boundaries decided by other people. When they turn on Seth Meyers and see John Cho on late night dubsmashing, it’s a world that one day could be open to them too.