Now let me remind some of you from the older generations what was NOT popular back then. Racial tolerance! And that is one of the first things Gene fought to represent in the bridge crew!
As Santa Kang mentions...
Baloney. That's just a myth that's long since been busted by Herb Solow and Bob Justman, who cited an August 17. 1965 letter from NBC V.P. Mort Werner memo that encouraged programs to feature "minority" characters.
Furthermore, Solow related:
"We applaud the attempts at a racial mix; it's exactly what we want. Hopefully, there'll be more experienced minority actors available for next year.'"
Herb Solow, relating feedback from NBC's Mort Werner
Inside Star Trek, p. 60