JJ Abrams admits Star Trek is a bit sexist

In an interview with news.com.au Abrams - who is in Sydney for the premiere of Star Trek: Into Darkness - said that "there needs to be more" main roles for women in the upcoming sequels.

"It's critical to me and it's true that when I wrote the pilot for Alias, or Felicity or Lost that female roles be as important as any other role," he said. "But I think in Star Trek while Zoe (Saldana, who plays Captain Spock's love interest Nyota Uhura) gets to do a couple of pretty cool things that are way above and beyond what you ever got to see in the original show, I couldn't agree with you more," he said. "There needs to be more of that and more of her."

Abrams said it was “critical” that female actors be as centrestage as male actors “not because they are male or female but because it’s the right thing”.

“I'm happy Zoe got to do so much more than in the first film, but there's a lot of room to go still," he said.

However, when it comes to onscreen nudity, Abrams says he is an equal opportunist.

"While Alice Eve's character (Dr Carol Marcus) gets down to her underwear, so does Kirk," he said. "There's equal opportunity flesh."

Star Trek has a long history of advocating for civil rights. It was set against the backdrop of a country and a world that was advocating for equality.

It was one of the first series to cast black and Asian men in leading roles. And in one of the later series a woman was even appointed Captain (you go, Captain Janeway!).

David Gerrod, a scriptwriter on the original series wrote in his book The World of Star Trek that the ship "Had to be interracial because it represented all of mankind".

"How can the human race ever hope to achieve friendship with alien races if it can't even make friends with itself?," he wrote.

However, Abrams said he wasn't as much of a "wild optimist" as the creator of the series, Gene Roddenbury.

"Gene Roddenbury's Star Trek was created as this bright future," he said. "I feel like I'm not quite as wildy optimistic as he is.

"That's not to say I'm not an optimist because I believe I am, but what I love to embrace is a more tempered, realistic and romantic view of the future".

“That's not to say there won't be conflict or evil or be forces that might be huge challenges but what I loved is people working together. Whatever your sex or religion or culture, or history that everyone can come together and explore what is out there."

If nothing else, the film has defied the ugly Hollywood stereotype that gay men can't play leading roles. When asked whether Qinto is helping to destroy the old stereotypes of show business, Abrams said that Quinto could only do this by "forging his own path".

"All I know is that Zachary is one of the finest actors I've ever worked with and one of the best people know," he said. "He plays such an incredible badass as Spock.

"He is as much a leading man in this film as anyone. His incredible skill makes you really forget that he doesn't have pointy ears and isn't really half Vulcan. He just convinces me wholeheartedly that is this character in this movie and has such passion and incredibly ferocity in this film


"I would say that I would hope he is going to continue to forge his own path for being a spectacular actor, the by-product of which may be what you're saying."

"I couldn't be more proud to have him in this film and as a friend."


Right, all female characters are in their underwear at some point unless they are mothers in which case they don't even get names in the movie.