Actor George Takei attempted to persuade Star Trek creator Gene Roddenbery to write an episode that would serve as a "metaphor" for the gay struggle in America, but the Tv mogul feared such a plot would turn viewers off.

The longtime gay advocate admired Roddenberry's subtle digs at race relations, women's rights issues and international politics in his storylines, and asked him if he could craft a plot about homosexuality.

Takei recalls, "He said, 'We do use metaphors to deal with contemporary issues', but he was treading a very tight rope, because of the fact he was dealing with issues... and he said that if he pushed the envelope too far, then he wouldn't be able to deal with any issue at all."

Takei admits he understood and backed down because he saw how Captain Kirk's interracial kiss with Lieutenant Uhura affected ratings in America's southern states.

He explains, "We were blacked out in the South and our ratings plummeted."