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Events - 07.18.2023

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program Series

Diversity in Hollywood An Evening with George Takei


07.18.2023 (Tue.)


05:00 PM - 08:00 PM


JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5



Last fall, the JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles Foundation launched a program series in collaboration with MUFG Bank, Ltd. exploring the timely themes of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and how they are evolving in Southern California’s many industries and communities. Starting with an overview of the role of DEI in business and leadership in September, the series continued with events on highlighting diversity through cuisine, and through the changing world of entertainment and media.

This July, we’re proud to have welcomed Hollywood legend George Takei to share his own journey as an actor and activist, and how he views the development of diversity, equity, and inclusion in entertainment and beyond. Joining Takei was award-winning KTLA news anchor Frank Buckley, who facilitated a conversation about the importance of diverse voices and perspectives in storytelling. After the program, guests were invited to join an intimate reception for networking and made new connections.

Yuko Kaifu and guests at Diversity in Hollywood: An Evening with George Takei
George Takei and Frank Buckley
George Takei and Frank Buckley
George Takei with guests
George Takei with guests

Program Schedule

  • 5:00 PM – 5:15 PM | Opening Remarks
    • Yuko Kaifu, President of JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles
    • Consul General Kenko Sone, Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles
    • Representative from MUFG Bank, Ltd
  • 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM | Fireside Chat
    • George Takei, Actor/Author/Civil Rights Activist/Influencer
    • Frank Buckley, KTLA News Anchor
  • 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM | Networking Reception

Special Guests

Courtesy of George Takei

George Takei
Actor/Author/Civil Rights Activist/Influencer
George Takei is known around the world for his role in the acclaimed original TV series Star Trek, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the starship Enterprise. But Takei's story, which includes an acting career that spans six decades, goes where few have gone before. From a childhood spent with his family wrongfully imprisoned in Japanese American internment camps during World War II to becoming one of the country's leading figures in the fight for social justice, LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality, Takei remains a powerful voice on issues ranging from politics to pop culture.

Read more bio.

Takei hosts the AARP-produced YouTube series Takei's Take, exploring the world of technology, trends, current events and pop culture, and is the subject of the documentary To Be Takei. On his own YouTube channel, Takei and his husband Brad Takei bring viewers into their personal lives in the "heightened reality" web series It Takeis Two. He was a series regular in the second season of Ridley Scott's anthology drama The Terror: Infamy, which premiered on AMC in August 2019.

His rich baritone has provided narration for the Ken Burns / PBS series The National Parks: America's Best Idea, the Peabody Award-winning radio documentary Crossing East, and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which garnered Takei a Grammy Award nomination for Best Spoken Word Album. He has also done voiceover work for hundreds of video games, commercials, films and TV series such as Marvel’s Hit-Monkey, Sega’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Fox’s The Simpsons and Futurama; Disney’s Kim Possible, Mulan and Mulan 2; Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender, Disney + Star Wars: Visions, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Takei’s acting credits include co-starring in six Star Trek movies and appearances on such TV series as Fresh Off the Boat, Supah Ninjas, Hawaii Five-0, The New Normal, The Big Bang Theory, Heroes, Psych, Will & Grace, Miami Vice, MacGyver, The Six Million Dollar Man, Mission: Impossible and The Twilight Zone, among numerous others.

In 2015, Takei made his Broadway debut in the musical Allegiance, which was inspired by his family’s true-life experiences during World War II. Takei made his London stage debut in “George Takei’s Allegiance” at the Charing Cross Theatre in early 2023. In 2017, he starred in a revival of Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures directed by John Doyle at Classic Stage Company in New York City.

Takei is the author of five books, including his autobiography To the Stars. His fifth book, the Eisner Award winning and New York Times bestselling graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy, was released in July 2019.

Takei has served as the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign’s Coming Out Project and was Cultural Affairs Chairman of the Japanese American Citizens League. He is also chairman emeritus and a trustee of the Japanese American National Museum. He was appointed to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission by former President Clinton and the government of Japan awarded Takei the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his contribution to U.S.-Japanese relations.

Takei received both bachelor and master of arts degrees from UCLA (’60, ’64). In June 2019, Takei received the Distinguished Alumni Award in Theater from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT). In June 2016, California State University, Los Angeles, presented Takei with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. In September 2022, Takei received an honorary doctorate from the University of South Australia in recognition of his distinguished service to the community.

In 2016, Takei was inducted into the California Museum’s California Hall of Fame. The California Museum says George and 96 other individuals inducted into the California Hall of Fame are “legendary people who embody California’s innovative spirit and have made their mark on history.”

Courtesy of KTLA

Frank Buckley
KTLA News Anchor
Frank Buckley anchors KTLA’s signature broadcast, L.A.’s No.1-rated KTLA 5 Morning News every Monday through Friday from 7-11 a.m. He is also the host/executive producer of the weekly TV show and podcast, Frank Buckley Interviews, airing on weekends on KTLA and also available on YouTube and all podcast platforms. Frank also co-anchors Inside California Politics, airing weekends on KTLA and on other Nexstar TV stations.

Read more bio.

Frank joined KTLA in 2005 from CNN, where he had been a national correspondent. Frank is the recipient of numerous awards, including Emmys for hard news reporting, for news special for his coverage of the Hong Kong handover, and for entertainment programming for co-hosting KTLA’s Rose Parade pre-show.

He has also won awards from the Los Angeles Press Club, including best documentary for KTLA’s “When Disaster Strikes: A Survival Guide” and for talk/public affairs for “Access L.A.” His other honors include APTRA Awards from the Associated Press Television-Radio Association, including reporter of the year; Golden Mike Awards from the Radio and Television News Association for writing and feature reporting; and the national Americanism in News Media Award. In 2019, Frank Buckley Interviews was nominated for a Los Angeles Press Club National Arts & Entertainment Award. In 2020, the program was nominated for an Emmy Award.

Frank’s reporting has taken him to nearly every community in Southern California and to many locations across the United States and the globe. In March 2011, Frank traveled to Japan for KTLA and reported from Sendai immediately after it was devastated by a tsunami and earthquake. Frank has also reported for KTLA from London on a terror plot and from Tehran, Iran, on the presidential election.

While at CNN, Frank’s varied assignments ranged from breaking news to politics to long-form enterprise reporting, including several CNN Presents documentaries including “Carrier at War.” During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Frank was embedded with the U.S. Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation in the Persian Gulf. In the weeks following 9/11, he reported from the Pentagon and from warships in the Arabian Sea.

In 2004, Frank participated in CNN’s political coverage, traveling with the John Kerry and John Edwards campaigns. In 2003-2004, he also traveled with President George W. Bush and frequently reported from the White House. Other political reporting assignments have included Hillary Clinton’s New York Senate run and the 2000 presidential election and its aftermath.

His spot news reporting for KTLA, CNN, and in the 1990s for KCAL-TV has included hurricanes in the Caribbean and the Carolinas; the Landers and Northridge earthquakes in California and the devastating earthquake in Kobe, Japan; wildfires in Southern California; the Los Angeles riots, the OJ Simpson case and trial; and the death of John F. Kennedy, Jr. off Martha’s Vineyard.

Prior to KTLA and CNN, Frank reported for Los Angeles station KCAL-TV (1992-1999), WXII-TV in Winston-Salem, N.C., and at KESQ-TV in Palm Springs. He has also written for the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit News. He graduated from USC with a double major in broadcast journalism and history in 1987.

Frank frequently donates his time to community organizations and has served on the boards of JDRF (formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), and the Los Angeles chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. He was one of the original members of the people-to-people diplomacy organization, U.S.-Japan Council, and he served on the Japanese American Leadership Delegation to Japan in 2006. Frank is also a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

In 2022, Frank Buckley Interviews won a National Entertainment and Journalism Award from the L.A. Press Club.

Frank is married and the father of two sons. He is a bogey golfer, a weekly basketball player, and a cyclist who gives it everything he’s got to complete a 100-mile ride every year to raise funds for JDRF to defeat type 1 diabetes.

Presented by

JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles Foundation Logo

Sponsored by

MUFG Union Bank, N.A. Logo

Supported by

JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles & Consulate General of Japan Los Angeles logos
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