What Star Trek has taught us about diversity

Jul 10, 2020
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"But, what was immediately remarkable about this television show wasn’t its setting or tone: It was its cast. "

This is what I find so bizarre about the world now. When Star Trek first hit the screen, we didn't find it amazing because of the cast. The cast was so natural, and everyone fit their roles so perfectly, the diversity of the crew just seemed normal. It wasn't anything brought up.

Forced diversity is not the same thing. If Star Trek came out today for the first time, there would be people on the set and in the audience actually counting genders and races to make sure there was a perfect mix, like anything in life is perfect.

What people want today and what Gene Roddenberry envisioned are not the same thing.

Another perfect example, the first interracial kiss. They didn't make a big deal out of it, it's just a part of the story. It could have been any two characters, but the way they did it made it seem like no big deal, something that was normal in that time. Of course it was a big deal for the people watching the show in the 1960s, but not for the characters from hundreds of years in the future. If they did this today, they would likely make an entire production out of it.

This goes back to the same problems the new Star Trek series have. I notice a lot of sites like interviews with people in the industry talking about "toxic fans", but no one talks about the toxcic producers who come out with a show they know the fans are not going to embrace, because they asked and were told no, that's not a good idea, but they come out with them anyway and then are surprised when the fans are not happy. They are just taking todays problems and projecting them into the future and Star Trek when that show is supposed to be about a better future. That was Gene's vision, a future when our civilization is a better place and people get along. They have ruined Star Trek, in fact it's 'Trek in name only now, and no longer has anyting to do with Gene Roddenberry's vsion.
 
Dec 30, 2019
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"But, what was immediately remarkable about this television show wasn’t its setting or tone: It was its cast."

In a way it is sad to look at people with coloured glasses.
I looked at it in black and white on a very small TV and it was the best and most inspiring thing I ever saw.
I wonder how many Vulcans got inspired by it?
 
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Mar 2, 2020
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Another perfect example, the first interracial kiss. They didn't make a big deal out of it, it's just a part of the story. It could have been any two characters, but the way they did it made it seem like no big deal, something that was normal in that time. Of course it was a big deal for the people watching the show in the 1960s, but not for the characters from hundreds of years in the future. If they did this today, they would likely make an entire production out of it.
They DID expect some controversy, so they filmed a few takes where they didn't actually kiss. They were WELL AWARE of the racial strife going on in 1968, and the potential blowback that this scene might have generated. Nichelle Nichols has spoken about the episode multiple times, noting that while there was some concern that the episode would spark protest amongst viewers, but the reaction was generally positive. The point you might be missing here, is that they did that scene DESPITE what the network and a lot of racists would have wanted.

They are just taking todays problems and projecting them into the future and Star Trek when that show is supposed to be about a better future.
I seem to recall the original ST series doing that several times. I.e. the classic "Let that be your last Battlefield" was all about racial strife, and it's utter meaningless. It was obviously a problem (then & now).

The problem in recent times is that you have people who now feel it is perfectly okay to spew their racism in public, just because our current president and his party gives them permission to do so. These are the same people that have a fit at the local Costco/WalMart because they're asked to wear a mask to help stop the spread of Covid19. This is why the disease is currently raging in this country with over 155,000 deaths, while it is mostly a non-issue in most other countries now (it's nonexistent in New Zealand).

I've witnessed this defect in our national character more than once in the last four years. In a comments section for the movie "Hidden Figures" there were many obvious racists bemoaning about how the movie was "made up hollywood racial diversity BS", and that it never happened.

I used to admin on a TF2 server a few years back, and I seen many of these types on there. They also liked to pick on women gamers (misogynists & racists tend to be fellow travelers). Surprisingly, many were millennials. I had to constantly ban people like that off of our server whenever they reared their ugly heads. Some of the best gamers I know are women.

I like the new Star Trek Discovery series, even if it is not a straight white man centric storyline. It does have racial and even sexual diversity in it, but that does not detract from the interesting and expanding storylines unless you allow your own prejudices to get in the way.

Remember, in the future nobody cares what your race OR sexual orientation is. I think Gene Roddenberry would have not only approved of this new series, he would have been proud.

FYI, I'm an straight white man over 50.
 
Feb 12, 2020
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What is so remarkable about Star Trek isn't its setting or tone: It is its cast.

What Star Trek has taught us about diversity : Read more
There wasn't much diversity in the original Star Trek. It had one black chick for sex appeal, and Asians aren't a lower class anyway. Most of the show was Kirk, Spock, and some McCoy. The accolades for diversity didn't come until much later. And as I remember only one episode of the original series dealt with racism - the one in which the right-half/left half of a humanoid spices was mirror-imaged in another species. And they hated one another.
 
Jul 10, 2020
41
8
535
They DID expect some controversy, so they filmed a few takes where they didn't actually kiss. They were WELL AWARE of the racial strife going on in 1968, and the potential blowback that this scene might have generated. Nichelle Nichols has spoken about the episode multiple times, noting that while there was some concern that the episode would spark protest amongst viewers, but the reaction was generally positive. The point you might be missing here, is that they did that scene DESPITE what the network and a lot of racists would have wanted.



I seem to recall the original ST series doing that several times. I.e. the classic "Let that be your last Battlefield" was all about racial strife, and it's utter meaningless. It was obviously a problem (then & now).

The problem in recent times is that you have people who now feel it is perfectly okay to spew their racism in public, just because our current president and his party gives them permission to do so. These are the same people that have a fit at the local Costco/WalMart because they're asked to wear a mask to help stop the spread of Covid19. This is why the disease is currently raging in this country with over 155,000 deaths, while it is mostly a non-issue in most other countries now (it's nonexistent in New Zealand).

I've witnessed this defect in our national character more than once in the last four years. In a comments section for the movie "Hidden Figures" there were many obvious racists bemoaning about how the movie was "made up hollywood racial diversity BS", and that it never happened.

I used to admin on a TF2 server a few years back, and I seen many of these types on there. They also liked to pick on women gamers (misogynists & racists tend to be fellow travelers). Surprisingly, many were millennials. I had to constantly ban people like that off of our server whenever they reared their ugly heads. Some of the best gamers I know are women.

I like the new Star Trek Discovery series, even if it is not a straight white man centric storyline. It does have racial and even sexual diversity in it, but that does not detract from the interesting and expanding storylines unless you allow your own prejudices to get in the way.

Remember, in the future nobody cares what your race OR sexual orientation is. I think Gene Roddenberry would have not only approved of this new series, he would have been proud.

FYI, I'm an straight white man over 50.
But my point was that, although they could expect a reaction from people in the 1950s, the show was about people in the future who are much more enlightened. This is why the final cut only made a big deal over two people being forced to kiss, not what colour they were.

As for the episode "Let that be your last Battlefield", again the crew ridiculed those two aliens for their prejudice. Something they were amazed by because it just didn't exist in the Federation.

As for Discovery, not liking it has nothing to do with whoever centric it is. After all, lots of us like Voyager, and Kate Mulgrew was an excellent captain. It's the swearing, the attitudes and the breaking of canon that kills that show.

And, no, I don't think Gene would have been proud of the conflicts, cigar smoking and swearing in Picard. Not only did they make the Federation appear stupid, but ignorant and spiteful as well. This is NOT Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek.
 

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