Responding to the news that both a Star Trek film and a new Star Trek series will feature gay characters, actor Chris Pine has said “it’s about f**king time”.

The star who plays Captain Kirk in the most recent reboot of the film franchise made the comments in response to the announcement that the Star Trek: Discovery series for CBS All Access would feature a gay character.

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He told THR: “Amen, man. It’s about f—ing time…The fact that there’s still a conversation about it means that there’s still room to go in terms of it being normalized.”

The announcement about Discovery by Bryan Fuller in August comes after the character Sulu was revealed to have a male partner in Star Trek: Beyond.

John Cho, who plays the role of Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu made famous by George Takei, said in an interview that the character would be revealed to be gay in the film.

Takei has been a long-time proponent of LGBT characters in the Star Trek universe, but attacked the decision as “twisting” the original universe.

He said he had urged the team to “create a character who has a history of being gay, rather than Sulu, who had been straight all this time, suddenly being revealed as being closeted”.

Responding to Takei, Pine said: “My only rebuttal to George Takei — no matter what kind of creative differences he had about Sulu being gay, and I can understand his creative differences — is the fact that our job is to make people feel less alone. If there’s one kid in Middle America who feels any amount of self-loathing because he feels different, or is being bullied because he feels different or looks different or sounds different, if our film can give him solace and make him or her feel less alone, then abso-effin-loutely we should do it all the time, every day of the week.”

Zachary Quinto earlier this year joined Star Trek writer Simon Pegg in defending a gay twist in the upcoming Star Trek film.