And really, Russians? Who's got a problem with Russians anymore? I keep asking this. Look, I grew up in a time when there was a lot of political rivalry between the US and the USSR, but I never really saw that translate into hostility against Russians as an ethnic group, at least not on television. There were plenty of movies and TV shows and comics in which Russian characters were presented in a positive light despite the policies of their government, in which loyal Soviet Russians stood alongside Americans as allies or fellow heroes -- Ilya Kuryakin, Colossus of the X-Men, Schwarzenegger in Red Heat. And that was at the height of the Cold War. In the two decades since, I certainly haven't noticed any hostility toward Russians in the American media. If you were talking about, say, Arabs, then hell yes, there's been plenty of unfortunate stereotyping of them in the US media. But seriously, Russians? Where's the evidence of this alleged intolerance? Because I haven't seen any signs of it.
The U.S. is a color coded
nation. Ethnic distinction is based primarily on race (color). In earlier American history, there was more relevance to ethnicity, but today Europeans have become so integrated that we're all simply "White".
I'm half Russian. I was never discriminated for being Russian (that I'm aware of). My ancestors may have been, but for myself, any ethnic discrimination I may have experienced was due to being "White".
I'm half Italian. And I'll be the first to tell you, I don't feel the slightest bit of offense when seeing a ranting Italian man pushing a tomato cart in New York, or an Italian with a monkey and grinder in old movies. Those old Italian stereotypes don't phase me. Did they bother my Italian-American ancestors at that time? Maybe.
But that doesn't change the fact that the American/Soviet rivalry doesn't play a part in TV role depictions, even to this day.
20 years ago Southern and Eastern Europeans were not discriminated against, and could hold any position available; but the idea of an ethnic non-Northern European president was questionable. I would think that idea should be shattered today, but earlier American history reveals that ethnicity probably did play a factor. And the idea of a Russian ensign, or maybe any other position including a captain of another
ship other than the main
ship of a given ST series is not out of the question; but the idea of a Russian star of the show
would be in my opinion.