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Old January 1 2013, 05:52 PM   #70
Jeyl's Avatar
Location: Asheville, NC
Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

SonicRanger wrote: View Post
Twice now, Jeyl, you've ignored the example that you asked Christopher to provide. Why is that? Because it doesn't support your opinions?
Well, if racism was not an issue with the episode, why was the original director, the one who insisted on an all black cast despite the details in the script, fired before it's completion?

I can understand how a writer and/or director would want to do something in an episode and think it would be ok without realizing how utterly dumb or flat out offensive it might turn out to be. Like in the Royale when they say the temperature is -290 something degrees Celsius even though that's below absolute zero. I get it, they just wanted to say that it was cold. Other instances that I cannot forgive come from episodes like Code of Honor and the Season Two episode opener "The Child". On paper, the idea of an alien impregnating Troi might sound like an interesting science fiction premise, but there's also the issue that Troi was for all intents and purposes, raped. The way the crew deal with this issue without bringing her into the discussion I found offensive (Even having her sitting further away from everyone), and how Doctor Pulaski took her to the bar instead of Sickbay is just mind boggling. But what makes it worse is that two of the three main female cast members from Season One were now gone from the show, and the only main female character left is the one not wearing a uniform.

Code of Honor on the other hand had a director who took a very mediocre script and deliberately made it worse. The script not only makes numerous comparisons between the Ligonian culture and Earth cultures, but they actually have characters making those comparisons.

Data: It is a highly structuralized society in which people live by strict codes of honor. For example, what Lutan did is similar to what certain American Indians once did called Counting Coup. That is form an obscure language known as French.

Or when Picard gives Lutan a gift.

Picard: We are aware of many of the achievements of Ligon II, and its unique similarity to an ancient Earth culture we all admire. On behalf of the Federation therefore I would like to present this token of our gratitude and friendship. From China's Sung Dynasty.

A good director would take note of those details and work with the writers, cast and crew to try and figure out what these details mean in how they can bring this culture to the screen. After all, the script does compare the Ligonians to Native Americans and the Chinese. On the other hand, the episode's director, Russ Mayberry, decided that not only should everyone on the planet be black, but also add a "1940's tribal african style" to the culture.

This episode was a taint not only on TNG but on all of Star Trek. It showed that we could have a planet with an all black population, but it only happened because they hired a director who only wanted to exploit them.

And for everyone who brought up the Tamarians, no. They are not black. They have orange and red skin. If you're going to argue with me on that, you might as well argue that the male character "Billy Kwan" from the movie "The Year of Living Dangerously" is a woman because he was portrayed by an actress.
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