This article has been updated.
The most shocking moment of the Star Trek: Discovery mid-season premiere probably had nothing to do with the Mirror Universe. Instead, the death of one character brought the series dangerously close to an anti-gay trope. But, GLAAD — the non-profit group that promotes positive visibility of LGBTQ issues in the media — has commented on the storyline in a positive light.
Spoilers head for the most recent episode of Star Trek: Discovery, “Despite Yourself.”
On January 7, Inverse revealed in a conversation with actor Wilson Cruz, that the death of Dr. Culber in “Despite Yourself,” is not permanent. “This is not a bury your gays, kill your gays trope storyline,” Cruz said. “This is a chapter in this relationship and even Paul and Hugh have no idea what’s about to go down.”
The relationship between Hugh Culber and Paul Stamets on Discovery has been one of the most talked about aspects of the show, if only because Trek hasn’t had a great track record with depicting gay characters in a positive light. So, it makes sense that some were worried that killing off Culber would undo the good work Discovery was doing on the representation front.
On Thursday, GLAAD issued a statement in support of the latest Discovery storylines, including the death of Culber. In a public statement, GLAAD spokesperson Nick Adams said: “GLAAD is mourning … the death of a beloved groundbreaking character…but death is not always final in the Star Trek universe, and we know the producers plan to continue exploring and telling Stamets and Culber’s epic love story.”
Speaking on the post-Discovery show After Trek, Berg also said that “Cubler is not 100 percent dead. And we will see him again.”
Star Trek: Discovery airs new episodes on Sunday nights at 8:30 pm eastern time on CBS All-Access. Come back to Inverse on Sunday night for our in-depth coverage, including an interview with Shazad Latif.