George Takei to speak on career, social justice

George Takei, star of the TV series Star Trek, will speak at the USF Sun Dome on Monday about his career, his rise to the top in social media and his current battles for social justice. Special to the Oracle

On Monday, Star Trek star and social justice activist George Takei will take students on a journey “Where No Story Has Gone Before” in an exploration of his past, rise to fame and issues he is currently fighting for.

In his lecture, “An Evening with George Takei,” he will speak at USF about Japanese Internment during WWII, his journey as a celebrity in science fiction and on social media and his role in the battle for LGBT rights, according to Greater Talent Network (GTN).

Takei was hired through GTN by the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) to speak at USF. According to Takei’s contract, GTN’s payment was $46,750. This included round-trip airfare, ground transportation, lodging and food.

Takei’s career spans five decades of popular culture. His rise to fame is often associated with his role as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek.

Before his rise to stardom, Takei’s family spent time in a Japanese Internment Camp, wrongfully imprisoned during WWII when the U.S. held more than 127,000 U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry in camps for fear they had loyalty to Japan, according to

Since gaining celebrity status, Takei has fought for issues pertaining to social justice, LGBT rights and marriage equality. 

In 2012, Takei was named the most influential person on Facebook by He currently boasts more than 9 million likes on the social networking platform, as well as more than 1 million Twitter followers.

“Some know me as Mr. Sulu from Star Trek, but I hope all know me as a believer in, and a fighter for, the quality and dignity of all human beings,” Takei wrote in his Twitter biography.

Takei’s lecture is part of the Frontier Forum series hosted by USF Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Faculty. The Provost’s Office and CAS also sponsors Frontier Forum. Previous lecturers through Frontier Forum include Neil deGrasse Tyson and Jane Goodall. 

The contract explicitly prohibits recording the event. Photography will only be allowed for the first five minutes of the lecture.

The lecture is from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the USF Sun Dome. Tickets are available through Free tickets are available for the first 3,000 USF students to reserve a ticket through the USF student ticketing account, a process that started on Jan. 26. 

Any seats remaining the day of the event will be free and available at the door for students with valid USF ID, according to the Facebook event page.