George Takei may have first found fame on the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek television series and feature films in the 1960s and 70s but it is his recent involvement in social media that has catapulted him into the public’s attention in recent years. The American actor, 77, has gained over 7 million ‘likes’ on Facebook since joining in 2011, with people particularly enjoying his commonly shared funny photos with added personal commentary.

George Takei
George Takei has found a new fan base thanks to his popular Facebook postings

However, even the most popular of social media stars don’t hit people’s funny bone every time and last month Takei was derided after posting a picture of a woman standing up in a wheelchair and reaching for some alcohol with the caption: There has been a miracle in the alcohol store.

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His comment was considered extremely insensitive, particularly coming from someone who campaigns for various injustices. As a vocal advocate of Japanese-American rights having grown up in a Japanese-American internment camp and of the LGBT community after disclosing his own homosexuality in 2005, Takei was lambasted for his disrespectful comment.

USA Today reported that Takei has subsequently commented on his mistake and admitted it has helped him to understand about other people’s point of views.

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"I was enlightened on the various degrees of disability of people who use wheelchairs," he said. "One should have the ability to apologise for the mistakes. And there’s a realisation of one’s ignorance of some life realities."

As a result of his humorous postings, Takei’s fan base has grown from his Star Trek core. He started his Facebook page to promote his musical Allegiance and has confessed that he "had no idea that it would grow this fast or be this massive."

He continued: "By trial and error I found that the best way to do it was through humour."

Now Takei has increased his followers, he has started using his social media presence to promote Allegiance, a musical based on his experiences in the internment camps which he hopes to bring to Broadway, and his new documentary, To Be Takei.