The decision to make John Cho’s character, Hikaru Sulu, a happily married gay man came with its own share of controversy stateside. But according to Cho, even the brief scene between Sulu and his family was cut down from a more romantic version. “There was a kiss that I think is not there anymore,” Cho told Vulture. (It’s not.) While co-writer Simon Pegg says the decision to cut the kiss was “not coy,” the resulting scene was certainly platonic enough to create plausible deniability. Thanks to interviews from members of the cast and crew, there’s no question, here in the U.S., that Sulu is gay. But China still has very strict censorship rules that mostly exclude any depiction of homosexuality on-screen. While the kiss may or may not have been cut out of deference to American values, it will certainly curry favor with Chinese censors.

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