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Cooper: SGU has gay characters

Monday - April 20, 2009
Category: GENERAL | Tags:

Ming-Na ("Camille Wray")

Ming-Na (Camille Wray)

Beware of minor SPOILERS for the upcoming episode “Life” in the report below.

The third Stargate series will go where Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis didn’t: It will have gay characters. Stargate Universe series creators Robert C. Cooper and Brad Wright told fans during their stage panel at Creation Entertainment’s official Vancouver Stargate convention earlier this month.

“There are at least one and potentially more gay characters on Universe,” Cooper said in answer to a fan’s question.

Wright added, “There’s actually two.”

One of those characters is Camille Wray, the I.O.A. representative on board the Destiny, new casting documents reveal. The character is played by actress Ming-Na.

In the show’s seventh episode, “Life,” viewers will meet Wray’s long-time partner back on Earth, Sharon. The character is listed as a lead guest, and possibly recurring. Camille uses the Destiny‘s long-range communications device to return home to Sharon for a brief respite.

Stargate Atlantis did have a few gay characters itself, at least in the minds of the producers — though it never made it onto the screen. Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi has stated that character of Alicia Vega was written to be a lesbian (story). But after her introduction in the Season Five premiere, she was quickly killed off in just her second appearance (“Whispers”).

Mallozzi also said that there was another character on Atlantis he always thought was gay, though the right time (read: not forced) to reveal it on screen never materialized.

The decision to include gay characters on Universe was born from the desire to focus the show on its characters and their relationships with one another.

“This goes towards our goal to make the characters on Universe as complex and complicated and realistic and identifiable as we can, to as many people as we can,” Cooper said. “And that’s not just a desire for ratings. That’s the desire to portray humanity, and make a show that is saying something about who we are.”

Stargate Universe premieres this fall on SCI FI Channel in the U.S., Sky1 in the U.K. and SPACE in Canada! Keep your browser locked on GateWorld’s own SGU Launch Center for more in the weeks ahead.

(Thanks to Morjana for the contributing)

Darren created GateWorld in 1999, and today is the owner and managing editor. He lives in the Seattle area with his wife and three children. (More)

COMMENTS (267):Rules | Report Comment | Trackback

  • Well that sucks I just want a fun action sci-fi show not this relationship crap it going to be who’s have sex who this week. Every other show on TV has that, what the don’t have is a stargate to go do anything that there imagination can think of. I want my SG-1 and SGA back!!

  • This sucks. I don’t mind if there’s the occasional nod to gays or lesbians (for instance, Ivanova in season 2 of Babylon 5 and -possible- feelings for Talia, Dax in that DS9 episode, Inara), but the thing is, when that happened. It wasn’t Oh, guess what, we’ve got gay characters on our show! In most of the cases I’ve seen gays or lesbians on sci-fi shows it hasn’t been flaunted, even when BSG did it, I thought they were gonna just throw it in our faces but they really didn’t (in the case of Gaeta and Admiral Cain)

    “This goes towards our goal to make the characters on Unvierse as complex and complicated and realistic and identifiable as we can, to as many people as we can.” I’m sorry but you can’t be all things to all people, and I’m sick of this attitude. Some people are gonna not like what you write, live with it. Having woman on woman sex doesn’t make the characters any complicated than if they weren’t lesbians.

    The fact that they pull something out like “oh, by the way, this character is gay even though we never said it” tells me they won’t handle this right at all. They do realize that with this news that Universe is gonna take a huge dip in ratings when it airs, right? Do they realize that there are quite a number of religious people (Christians or otherwise) who watch universe who are going to be offended when they see the constant pushing of the homosexual agenda on Universe? I know a pastor who watches Stargate avidly, I highly doubt he’ll get into Universe now that it features gay characters.

    I was looking forward to Universe until this.

  • This is a good thing. Well, it’s not a bad thing, by any means. I believe these story lines are important to the depth of the show. Yet, I don’t think there necessarily needs to be a big production about the whole bit. And I also believe the SG family will keep it entertaining and intelligent. So. Woo.

  • This is fantastic. I’m hoping it will be a well rounded, positive portrayal rather than a ratings stunt but with no way of knowing, I’m happy to wait.

    We haven’t even seen how it will be handled, so anyone who is already jumping up and down about the “constant pushing of the homosexual agenda” is being deliberately closed minded. If you want to watch the show, give it a go. If not- whining and complaining just makes you look like a bigot.

    What is the “homosexual agenda” anyway, apart from some keywords that mean nothing but are very helpful to sort out whose posts aren’t worth my time?

  • I am very surprised at the responses to this announcement thus far. The first comment regarding “fun action sci-fi show” and wanting the prior two series back would seem to suggest that these series did not have portrayals of relationships. Most fan feedback that I am aware of, regarding SG1 particularly, is that the relationship between the team members and others was a large draw for viewers. Certainly SGA spent a great deal of time on relationships in the fifth season.

    I also believe that there seems to be an assumption that now the show runners are going to be pushing an “agenda”. The show hasn’t aired yet and I think that we can give these people some credit for knowing how to run a series. The inclusion of gay characters in the series is something I am very happy to see. As a fan of both B5 and DS9, I have to say that I use those same examples as a disappointment in current sci fi programming. One of the most wonderful things about science fiction is the ability to use the medium as a forum for discussing real world issues and societies. The fact that in all five series of Star Trek, I can think of possibly five episodes that include gay characters saddens me.

    Cooper and Wright were right to address the fact that they are not doing this for ratings and I for one would like to believe them. I would like to believe that a series I have enjoyed throughout its incarnations to date will not be intimidated by the thought that some viewers may or may not be frightened off. From what Cooper and Wright said at the convention, all characters will have moments and B or C-plot story lines that involve relationships. This is how we get to see the characters grow and gain depth – whether they’re heterosexual or homosexual doesn’t matter.

  • I find this desgusting. I don’t hate gays, just their practice and way of life. I was incredibly exited about SGU, but now, I doubt anyone in my family will watch it.

  • I have no problems at all with gay characters in Stargate. It’s part of life. But I am worried about how they will handle it, given their track record with relationships.
    Hopefully it won’t be a major focus, but more of a by the way type of item.
    And I certainly wish they’d been a bit braver and had two male gay characters instead of going for what I think might be the “hot lesbian action” route for the fanboy audience.

  • “I find this desgusting. I don’t hate gays, just their practice and way of life. I was incredibly exited about SGU, but now, I doubt anyone in my family will watch it.”

    This is what I mean about fans who should keep their mouths shut. You sound like you belong in the 1950s. Your post says more about you than it does about the article.

  • “This is what I mean about fans who should keep their mouths shut. You sound like you belong in the 1950s. Your post says more about you than it does about the article.”

    My comment was explaining how I feel about this piece of news.
    BTW, I don’t mind looking old-fashioned. I think people were a lot smarter back then.

  • “I think people were a lot smarter back then.”

    …apart from the misogyny, accepted racism, bigotry? Yeah, probably a lot smarter. Yay olden timey days!

  • “I find this desgusting. I don’t hate gays, just their practice and way of life. I was incredibly exited about SGU, but now, I doubt anyone in my family will watch it.”

    “This is what I mean about fans who should keep their mouths shut. You sound like you belong in the 1950s. Your post says more about you than it does about the article.”

    Why should they shut there mouth? They don’t have a right to speak their opinion if its not yours?

    If you want lesbians they have plenty of websites that you can go to but if you want awesome kick ass sci-fi well that is in short supply.

  • WOW. It’s sad there are alot of Biggots on this site! Everyone is equal, but gays???

  • I love the fact that people are preaching tolerance yet if someone doesn’t like the fact that there’s homosexual characters isn’t allowed, and they’re immediately called “bigots.” Isn’t that like…a contradiction? For one, I don’t think I’ve seen anybody here say they hate gay or lesbian people. I know I most certainly don’t.

    As I have mentioned, I am a fan of Firefly (obviously from my name), Farscape, DS9, and B5, all of which have had some sort of heterosexual or homosexual instance on the show (Farscape did an episode where a female alien kissed Chiana). In those shows, I don’t have a problem with how its been portrayed. DS9 it made perfect sense and in the character of Dax, asked an interesting question – what do you do when you come face to face with a former lover and you are now of the same sex? TNG had a similar episode titled “The Host” with Crusher facing a similar instance with a Trill at the very end (and sadly it really didn’t deal with it that well)

    And of course B5 made perfect sense as well, BSG, at least in the case of Admiral Cain made sense, in the case of Gaeta, not so much (was pretty sudden and had a very “oh look, we’ve got gays!” feel to it the way it was announced)

    My major concern is that either 1) It’s something that’ll be flaunted in front of us in a “oh look we have gay characters” fashion or 2) they’ll just turn it into an excuse to have gay sex.

    The fact that they can’t even bother telling us which supposed main character on Atlantis is homosexual worries me that it’s not going to be handled properly at all.

    Thinking about it, what I think would be very interesting is to have a gay/lesbian character who maybe at some point questions her sexual preference and decides to change her lifestyle at some point, again, not in a way that would be preachy, but maybe it would be something that would slowly develop over time.

    The previous poster made mention to the fact that sci-fi is a good forum for opening discussion on real-world issues and societies. This I agree with. My question is, how does simply having a gay character on a TV show or movie open discussion? It doesn’t. It’s just pretty much saying “look, he or she is gay” and that’s whether its a copout or not. The only case I can think of that this hasn’t been the case is with the DS9 episode, “Rejoined,” where Dax faces her former lover.

    TNG’s “Measure of a Man” is another perfect example. What rights do androids have? And there is ample discussion in that episode. TOS’, “Plato’s Stepchildren” however, is not. The kiss simply happened, it wasn’t an issue at all in the episode. Was it controversial? Of course it was, but I don’t think it provided discussion for the same way that “Rejoined” or “Measure of a Man” could.

    This is the issue. Are there gays simply to have gays, or are there gays to get people to talk? To get people to talk “is this right, or is this wrong?” And heaven forbid that an episode should possibly open up the forum for discussion that it might be wrong (I’d love to see this done in a crafty way without being preachy).

  • Oh, and to the poster who posted before me, who said that everyone is equal but gays? Only you did. Well, I did now, but that was just to quote you. Please don’t turn this into a discussion of gay rights.

  • Of course they have a right to their opinion, just warning them what they sound like.

    I hardly think one lesbian relationship introduced in the 7th episode is going to take over the show. Since when were kick ass sci-fi and lesbians mutually exclusive anyway?

  • I think it’s great that there will be gay characters on the show – it was long overdue and look, she’s Asian AND gay, they can now flaunt to have two minorities in one – but I would still prefer to have an action/adventure flick over space opera with heavily accentuated relationship drama – yes, I loved SG-1/SGA and hated BSG for that very reason.

  • This gets a hearty “Yea!” out of me. I know it’s been a goal of Wright and Cooper since they let slip their gay musings about Vega / Lorne / Dex at the end of Atlantis.

    The big thing here is to make the two gay characters as fully rounded as any other on the show; that they aren’t just defined by who they kiss but rather what they do when they aren’t kissing. In the end, isn’t that what gets someone to kiss you, anyway?

  • I’m kind of looking forward to seeing this now, but will be disappointed if it is done badly, which I think is a distinct possibility given the shows track records with relationships in general.

    However, I don’t think it will take anything away from the show and you know what, I don’t know if the narrow minded bigot demographic is really worth worrying about for ratings.

    And if anyone thinks that several of the posts above aren’t homophobic then I recommend substituting ‘blacks’ (or racial description of your choice) in place of ‘gays’ and seeing if it sounds racist. If it sounds racist then it’s homophobic with the word ‘gays’. Just a tip.

  • How many other sci-fi shows can say they have 10 seasons and 3 movies? Oh that’s right NONE and they did that with just plan old good sci-fi, the team was a family, no love interests, just saying.

    Yeah the Sam/Jack thing but that was never in your face, like I THINK SGU is going to do with love/sex relationships gay or straight. But hey I might be wrong we just have to wait for the show to come out.

  • I think this is great news. I like watching diversity on my favourite shows…be it a gay relationship, interracial relationship or different religious or ethnic stories. They only enrich our lives and help us accept everyone for who they are. I think it’s time we moved from the bigotry and hatred of the yesteryear’s learn to be tolerable.
    TwiceBorn…you say you don’t hate gays but you hate their practice and way of life…what you obviously don’t understand with what you wrote was that you actually DO hate gays…because what they practice and their way of life is they are. And what was said was not a reaction to the news. You made a statement referring to the lifestyle of gays. Not that you weren’t happy with the idea of of having a gay storyline. If what you said was not your intention, then perhaps you should correct or amend your statement.
    Browncoat – Gatetrek was simply questioning the idea that everyone is equal but gays…not stating it as fact. Look how the post was written and re read it.
    I agree, this is not about gay rights. What appears to be happening is that people are coming out and airing their dislike for gays or the idea of a gay storyline. My question is…why is this so offensive?

  • if i wanted to watch lesbians i would watch porn simple
    Please keep the show about the SGates and Ancients it is what made you the SCI-FI giant you are today

  • Gay is wrong, ok let us take morels out of it. What it the sole purpose of sex? To have a baby, to insure the survival of a species. A man and a man can’t do that, a woman and a woman can’t do that. Man is designed to be with a woman all the right parts fit, if you know what I mean. For example look at HDMI, the cable has male end and the TV has a female end, it would be wrong if they both had male ends or female ends it simple would not work properly. I am not trying to offend anyone just pointing out a fact. I do tolerate gays but don’t try to tell me that’s its right. I am going to watch SGU because I love Stargate its my favorite franchise of all time I’m not going to let this take away my enjoyment of the show.

  • Seriously people? You get so offended because there are “gay/lesbian” characters?? It’s Television for crying out loud. Characters are born thru the imaginatives. Rather you like it or not this world doesn’t revolve around you guys. I can’t believe you guys are even Sci-Fi fans! The Sci-Fi people that I know are open minded. If you can’t handle that, you’re no Sci-Fi, you’re just so narrow, conservative, poor little ignorant human being who needs to wake up and show respect to people that are different than you!

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