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Banned Twilight Zone episode featuring George Takei resurfaces

A banned episode of The Twilight Zone starring George Takei will get a rare showing on the Paramount Plus streaming service, reports Giant Freakin Robot.

The episode entitled The Encounter originally aired in 1964 as part of the popular TV series’ five-year run on CBS. However, outrage from the Japanese American community led the episode to be pulled from future airings, according to the Collider.

The show focuses on a World War II U.S. veteran named Fenton who stole a samurai sword from a Japanese soldier. That soldier surrendered but ended up being killed by Fenton anyway. The sword continued to haunt Fenton despite how many times he tried to get rid of it.

Fenton and George Takei’s character, Takamori, meet when he approaches the veteran to get work as a gardener. Fenton shows his true colors, treating Takamori as a racist would while the gardener reveals his father betrayed the United States during the attack at Pearl Harbor.

Japanese Americans protested, rightfully pointing out that no Japanese American was ever convicted of espionage or betraying the U.S.

During a scuffle between Fenton and Takamori, the sword impales the U.S. veteran.

Takamori promptly jumps through a window, killing himself, but not before screaming “banzai.”

The episode is filled with Asian stereotypes at a time the U.S. was at war with another Asian country-North Vietnam.

CBS banned the episode from future airing although it has been included in a collection of DVDs dedicated to the series.

It last aired on TV in 2016 during a marathon of Twilight Zone episodes on SyFy. It is now available for streaming on Paramound+.

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