'Star Trek: Discovery' Stars Defend Controversial Death

Star Trek: Discovery broke new ground for the Star Trek franchise by introducing the franchise’s first gay couple, Lt. Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz).

Discovery also courted controversy by having Culber brutally murdered. Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) snapped Culber’s neck as the memories of his true life as the Klingon Voq began to emerge.

Discovery was accused of falling into the “bury your gays” trope, where gay couples aren’t allowed to live happily ever after and must come to some tragic end. But speaking to Attitude, Rapp and Cruz say that this isn’t the end for Stamets and Culber at all and that that brutal moment from season one is just one necessary stop on their journey.

“I can promise you that he really did have to go through that in order for us to tell the story that we’re about to tell you,” Cruz says. “We don’t dismiss it. We don’t act as if it didn’t happen. We extrapolate it in a very real way. We extend the story. And there are consequences. There’s a price to pay. But it’s a really exciting way of learning about this character. Honestly, after doing it I feel like we couldn’t have given a more satisfying answer to the question.”

Cruz also wants to ensure fans that the level of representation established in the show’s first season will be maintained in its second season.

“That’s the most moving thing to me, the fact that there is a young person who identifies as LGBT and is a person of color and can turn on the TV and see someone who they can relate to,” he said. “I remember growing up and not seeing anybody who reflected my life back to me. The fact that I can be that for someone, doesn’t feel like I’m doing something frivolous with my life. I talk to my parents and be like, ‘You know what, I helped affect somebody’s life.’”

Are you ready for Star Trek: Discovery Season Two? What do you think is next for Stamets and Culber? Let us know in the comments!


The first season of Star Trek: Discovery is available to stream in its entirety on CBS All Access in the U.S., through CraveTV in Canada and through Netflix in other international markets.

Star Trek: Discovery Season Two is now filming in Toronto and will premiere on CBS All Access on January 17, 2019.