I guess I'll never fathom what about the episode
The production team is rumored to have been racist. The audience certainly is racist, for thinking that black people cannot be portrayed on screen, unless they are stereotypes such as police captains, brain surgeons or sexy detectives. But the episode just portrays an alien culture, pseudo-realistically for a rare once - uniquely enough, the planet isn't
populated by Californians wearing forehead makeup.
As for Worf's absence, well, the preceding episode in airdate and stardate order alike was "The Naked Now". And Worf was the very last one to succumb to the intoxication there... Perhaps he was also the very last one to recover?