RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 139,764
Posts: 5,433,879
Members: 24,839
Currently online: 618
Newest member: mrcptuk

TrekToday headlines

The Art of John Alvin Book Review
By: T'Bonz on Sep 23

Episode Four of The Red Shirt Diaries
By: T'Bonz on Sep 22

Star Trek: The Compendium Review
By: T'Bonz on Sep 22

Orci Drops Rangers Project
By: T'Bonz on Sep 22

Retro Review: Image in the Sand
By: Michelle on Sep 20

Star Trek: Shadows Of Tyranny Casting Call
By: T'Bonz on Sep 19

USS Vengeance And More Starship Collection Ships
By: T'Bonz on Sep 19

Trek 3 To Being Shooting Next Year
By: T'Bonz on Sep 19

Trek Messenger Bag
By: T'Bonz on Sep 18

Star Trek Live In Concert In Australia
By: T'Bonz on Sep 18


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 27 2012, 04:36 PM   #16
R. Star
Rear Admiral
 
R. Star's Avatar
 
Location: Shangri-La
Re: "Code of Honor" Ligonians: Humans or Aliens?

CommanderRaytas wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
SonicRanger wrote: View Post
But do you think that, if the Ligonians had forehead bumps or three arms and legs, the episode would be considered terribly racist?
It's considered terribly racist because it glaringly hits upon African sterotypes and the plot summary is "white woman kidnapped on planet full of black people!" A few bumps aren't going to fix that.

Hehehe.

In a nutshell, this. I agree completely. It would probably not have changed a thing.

The choice of words made me giggle though.
Haha, glad to be of service. Some of those season 1 episodes, you just have to wonder "What were they thinking."

Next week on TNG! After saving Tasha from the planet of black people, our crew boldly goes to the planet of scantily clad blond haired, blue eyed people known as the Arya-- I mean Edo!

You just have to poke fun at things like this.
__________________
"I was never a Star Trek fan." J.J. Abrams
R. Star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27 2012, 05:01 PM   #17
Trekker4747
Fleet Admiral
 
Trekker4747's Avatar
 
Location: Kansas City
Re: "Code of Honor" Ligonians: Humans or Aliens?

They're clearly dark-skinned aliens who simply LOOK like humans. Hardly at all the first Trek "aliens" we've seen who were simply humans without even the simplest of makeup or appliances attached.
__________________
Out of hope.
Trekker4747 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27 2012, 05:27 PM   #18
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: "Code of Honor" Ligonians: Humans or Aliens?

SonicRanger wrote: View Post
Well, for what it's worth, Memory Alpha states:

"In the teleplay, however, only Lutan's guards were specifically written as being African. It was director Russ Mayberry's idea to make all the planet's occupants African. Disgusted by this decision and Mayberry's attitude towards the performers, Gene Roddenberry fired Mayberry late in production. The remainder of the episode was directed by an uncredited Les Landau."
Apparently the source for that information is Wil Wheaton's review of the episode. But Wheaton himself presents it as hearsay:
I've read that the Ligonians were not explicitly described as entirely African American in the script, but were cast that way at the behest of director Russ Mayberry, who apparently went on to be so offensively racist and treated the actors so poorly that Gene fired him before the episode was completed and handed the directing responsibilities over to then – First AD Les Landau. [Citation Needed] (Ironically, Mayberry went on to direct quite a few episodes of "In the Heat of the Night," which proves either that he learned something from this experience or that he's really good at directing stories about racists.)
So it's certainly a story that's widely propagated on the Internet, but it doesn't seem to be proven. And it wouldn't be out of character for Roddenberry to try to pin a mistake on someone else after the fact by making up a story about them.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27 2012, 05:31 PM   #19
SonicRanger
Rear Admiral
 
SonicRanger's Avatar
 
Location: Sheffield, England
Re: "Code of Honor" Ligonians: Humans or Aliens?

^^^ Hence my "Well, for what it's worth..." preface for what is simply a wiki entry.
__________________
"STAR TREK is... Action - Adventure - Science Fiction."
-- Gene Roddenberry, 1964, top of the first page of his original pitch and outline for Star Trek
SonicRanger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27 2012, 05:36 PM   #20
SonicRanger
Rear Admiral
 
SonicRanger's Avatar
 
Location: Sheffield, England
Re: "Code of Honor" Ligonians: Humans or Aliens?

If we look at the TNG Companion, it states that Katharyn Powers and Michael Baron "initially tried to base the Ligonian 'honor is all' culture on that of the Japanese Samurai, using a reptilian race called the Tellisians."
__________________
"STAR TREK is... Action - Adventure - Science Fiction."
-- Gene Roddenberry, 1964, top of the first page of his original pitch and outline for Star Trek

Last edited by SonicRanger; August 27 2012 at 06:19 PM.
SonicRanger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27 2012, 05:49 PM   #21
Romulus Prime
Lieutenant Commander
 
Romulus Prime's Avatar
 
Location: The broken state of California
Re: "Code of Honor" Ligonians: Humans or Aliens?

R. Star wrote: View Post
SonicRanger wrote: View Post
But do you think that, if the Ligonians had forehead bumps or three arms and legs, the episode would be considered terribly racist?
It's considered terribly racist because it glaringly hits upon African sterotypes and the plot summary is "white woman kidnapped on planet full of black people!" A few bumps aren't going to fix that.
Ugh...and y'know, that concept just never occurred to me. I simply saw it as the alien guy having the hots for a chick w/a gun, and he wanted her. I still see it this way. Personally, I think there are a lot of people who WANT to see racism just so they can claim it because they want to be a victim. And then there's "white guilt" that looks for it also, or thinks the claim might be deserved even when there is little or no basis for it.

I come from a mixed background, so I have the luxury/curse of seeing viewpoints from both "white" and "non-white" sides, and I've found - more often than not - that the accusation of "racism" or "racist" just ends up cheapening the term when applied so liberally to any little thing people want to be offended by.


It's just a show, and a member of the main cast getting kidnapped was part of the plot.

__________________
Centurion: "...power is danger."

Romulan Commander: "Danger and I are old companions." - TOS episode Balance of Terror


"Living in your dreams is like living in exile.
" - Calyx, A Stitch in Time


"Shame on you, Barack Obama!" -
Hillary Clinton

"It's the economy, stupid." - Bill Clinton
Romulus Prime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27 2012, 08:56 PM   #22
Garrovick
Commander
 
Garrovick's Avatar
 
Location: wallowing in a pool of emotion
Re: "Code of Honor" Ligonians: Humans or Aliens?

I honestly never felt that this episode was that full of African stereotypes. Yes, all of the Ligonians that we saw in the episode were of African ancestry, and I did see some elements of African culture on the planet, but there were also elements of Oriental culture, and Lutan's kidnapping of Yar was explicitly said to be similar to Native American behavior. Lutan's treatment of his wife may have been pretty cold-blooded, but there wasn't anything "African" about it. I don't know and I don't really care what may or may not have gone on behind the scenes in terms of Russ Mayberry, etc., but I really don't think there's anything in the aired episode that is derogatory towards Africans or anyone else. They never really came across to me as "barbaric", their buildings and technology seemed civilized enough, just different and perhaps not quite as advanced as the Federation's.

Looking back on it now, it's kind of refreshing to see an alien race without silly-looking forehead ridges or weird ears.
Garrovick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27 2012, 11:06 PM   #23
Morpheus 02
Commodore
 
Location: Chicago IL
Re: "Code of Honor" Ligonians: Humans or Aliens?

R. Star wrote: View Post
CommanderRaytas wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post

It's considered terribly racist because it glaringly hits upon African sterotypes and the plot summary is "white woman kidnapped on planet full of black people!" A few bumps aren't going to fix that.

Hehehe.

In a nutshell, this. I agree completely. It would probably not have changed a thing.

The choice of words made me giggle though.
Haha, glad to be of service. Some of those season 1 episodes, you just have to wonder "What were they thinking."

Next week on TNG! After saving Tasha from the planet of black people, our crew boldly goes to the planet of scantily clad blond haired, blue eyed people known as the Arya-- I mean Edo!

You just have to poke fun at things like this.
If the the races of actors of those episodes were switched, we might have seen more humanoid races where the actors portraying the race were non-white.

But as R. Star pointed out...the "perfect people" of the following week's Justice are Aryans, while primitives are portrayed by blacks the previous week. (Add to that craziness...a sex planet where a 15year old Wesley is thinking only about innocent soccer relationships with native girls? Really?)

Because of that bad casting, we never got to see more humanoid races that were portrayed by actors of a different ethnicity or group. (So Indians for example, might have only had 1 or 2 rles in an episode, rather than everyone but the Trek crew).

If only they had a race equal to the Federation, like in Darmok..then minorities might have had a better go at it on Trek.

Instead, the humanoid races seemed to be later portrayed as either all white, or some random minority thrown in the background.
__________________
Morpheus 02
a.k.a.
JP Paulus jp [at] paulus . com
Morpheus 02 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27 2012, 11:49 PM   #24
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: "Code of Honor" Ligonians: Humans or Aliens?

Morpheus 02 wrote: View Post
But as R. Star pointed out...the "perfect people" of the following week's Justice are Aryans, while primitives are portrayed by blacks the previous week.
I'm sorry, but that's not true. The Ligonians were not portrayed as "primitive." They were comparatively less advanced than the 24th-century Federation and were traditionalist in many ways, but they had their own transporter technology, a beam or forcefield technology (the light beams in the combat arena), and medicine that was in some ways beyond Federation medicine, though in some ways not. And they presumably had warp drive, since according to "The First Duty," Picard had wrestled a Ligonian as an Academy cadet. So the Ligonians were at least as technologically advanced as, say, the humans of Jonathan Archer's era. Sure, they liked to cling to their more archaic traditions, but then, so do the Vulcans and Klingons.

By contrast, the Edo of "Justice" were comparatively primitive. They showed no sign of having high technology or space travel; the only indication they had any technology at all was that they lived in the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant. Basically they seemed to be the kind of sci-fi civilization that's just coasting on the accomplishments of its ancestors and has degenerated to a simpler level. After all, it's pretty obvious they were inspired by the Eloi from The Time Machine.


Because of that bad casting, we never got to see more humanoid races that were portrayed by actors of a different ethnicity or group.
Err, yes, we did -- Klingons, Vulcans (as in Tuvok), Jem'Hadar, Hirogen, Xindi Primates and Arboreals, the occasional Romulan or Cardassian, and numerous others.

Unless you're saying that we never saw another human-looking alien race played entirely by a single nonwhite ethnic group, but would that really have been a good idea anyway? Better to do what they actually did, and allow alien races to have ethnic variety just as humans did rather than having an all-white species here, an all-black one there, an all-Asian one there, etc.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 28 2012, 12:26 AM   #25
Spock/Uhura Fan
Captain
 
Spock/Uhura Fan's Avatar
 
Location: Where It's At.
Re: "Code of Honor" Ligonians: Humans or Aliens?

Christopher wrote: View Post
[...] As for the racial thing, I think it's widely misinterpreted... And keep in mind -- before this, the general trend in depicting humanoid aliens was to make them all white, or else cast white actors and paint them red or green or something.
And perhaps they should have cast white actors for this one, interestingly enough, they didn't. Just speaking for myself, none of the depictions of aliens when they were played by whites were in episodes that were this bad.

So "Code of Honor" was actually an attempt to be more racially inclusive -- to break free of that pattern of portraying all aliens as white... So their intentions were good, but the execution left much to be desired, and some innocently intended ingredients had a regrettable synergy.
And if the world were only built off of intentions. The problem is that wasn't the result, and for people who are in the business of how things look, this was a complete fail they should have been able to avoid if they wanted to.



Part of the problem is that they went with a Katharyn Powers-cowritten script as the episode they chose to cast inclusively. Powers also wrote a number of early Stargate SG-1 episodes, and her writing of "alien" cultures (which in that case really were transplanted humans) wasn't much more nuanced or respectful or anthropologically coherent than this was...
And the script went through an approval process, so let's not just blame the writer. I would think you would know better than to do this than most here.

Perhaps the original intent was to cast the Ligonians with Asian-American actors, so they were actually trying to avoid the obvious stereotype by casting a different ethnic group. Unfortunately, they chose one that's subject to plenty of unfair stereotypes of its own. So it was a misfire all around.
Well at least I can agree with the misfire part.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, I think the key is that a certain stereotypical view of the "proud barbarian" was inherent in the script, whether Orientalist or otherwise, so probably casting anyone other than white actors -- or a mix of ethnic types -- would've ended up giving a stereotyped impression. While it was a nice idea to try to break the pattern of only casting white people as aliens-of-the-week, they should've chosen another episode to do it -- maybe "Justice" or "Haven." (Although the fact that the people responsible for casting chose this episode, the one with the "exotic Other" stereotypes built into it, as the one to feature an all-black alien race, and kept other first-season TNG alien races all-white... well, that suggests something about the people responsible for casting. But at this point, the producers were mostly veterans of TOS, so they were from an earlier generation and had certain assumptions that would've been hard to unlearn. On the other hand, they did cast Michael Dorn as one of their main regular aliens... but then, TOS Klingons were kind of a racial stereotype themselves, essentially Space Mongols.)
This, I can agree with. On the "assumptions that would've been hard to unlearn" aspect, I think maybe this was one of the reasons I've heard that they brought in some new people for season 2 show running. At least that's what I heard.

SonicRanger wrote: View Post
Well, for what it's worth, Memory Alpha states:

"In the teleplay, however, only Lutan's guards were specifically written as being African. It was director Russ Mayberry's idea to make all the planet's occupants African. Disgusted by this decision and Mayberry's attitude towards the performers, Gene Roddenberry fired Mayberry late in production. The remainder of the episode was directed by an uncredited Les Landau."
If this is true, my applause to Mr. Roddenberry, then.

R. Star wrote: View Post
SonicRanger wrote: View Post
But do you think that, if the Ligonians had forehead bumps or three arms and legs, the episode would be considered terribly racist?
It's considered terribly racist because it glaringly hits upon African sterotypes and the plot summary is "white woman kidnapped on planet full of black people!" A few bumps aren't going to fix that.
My sentiments exactly.

Romulus Prime wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
SonicRanger wrote: View Post
But do you think that, if the Ligonians had forehead bumps or three arms and legs, the episode would be considered terribly racist?
It's considered terribly racist because it glaringly hits upon African sterotypes and the plot summary is "white woman kidnapped on planet full of black people!" A few bumps aren't going to fix that.
Ugh...and y'know, that concept just never occurred to me. I simply saw it as the alien guy having the hots for a chick w/a gun, and he wanted her. I still see it this way. Personally, I think there are a lot of people who WANT to see racism just so they can claim it because they want to be a victim. And then there's "white guilt" that looks for it also, or thinks the claim might be deserved even when there is little or no basis for it.

I come from a mixed background, so I have the luxury/curse of seeing viewpoints from both "white" and "non-white" sides, and I've found - more often than not - that the accusation of "racism" or "racist" just ends up cheapening the term when applied so liberally to any little thing people want to be offended by.

It's just a show, and a member of the main cast getting kidnapped was part of the plot.

Star Trek has a history of being more than "just a show" on a number of fronts. But anyway, I don't think it's an issue of people wanting to be offended or victimized, it's more of an issue of an unfounded tradition.

Some snippets from one of the For What It's Worth historical databases:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph.../ScaryBlackMan

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...WarriorRaceGuy

Christopher wrote: View Post
Morpheus 02 wrote: View Post
But as R. Star pointed out...the "perfect people" of the following week's Justice are Aryans, while primitives are portrayed by blacks the previous week.
I'm sorry, but that's not true [...]
I think the issue here was that the Ligonians were portrayed as savage-like, "take by force," conniving people, while the "aliens" of the very next episode were blonde and blue and happily innocent and naive in their own little Utopia. There was a twist to this which came, of course, from some "outside" evil force and the TNG crew got to be their rescuers IIRC... The contrast is where the problem lies, FWIW.
__________________
MA'AM. Hot damn, I can dig it.

“The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.” - Virginia Woolf
Spock/Uhura Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 28 2012, 04:02 AM   #26
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: "Code of Honor" Ligonians: Humans or Aliens?

Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
And perhaps they should have cast white actors for this one, interestingly enough, they didn't. Just speaking for myself, none of the depictions of aliens when they were played by whites were in episodes that were this bad.
Are you kidding? "Justice?" "Angel One?" There are plenty of episodes worse than this one. If nothing else, it had a fantastic musical score by Fred Steiner, the only TOS composer to score a TNG episode.


And if the world were only built off of intentions. The problem is that wasn't the result, and for people who are in the business of how things look, this was a complete fail they should have been able to avoid if they wanted to.
I do not deny for a minute that the result was unfortunate. But if we're to judge, let's judge what actually happened instead of a set of distortions or oversimplifications.



And the script went through an approval process, so let's not just blame the writer. I would think you would know better than to do this than most here.
Huh? Okay, you've got this completely backward. My whole point is that what ended up onscreen is not what the writers intended, at least not where the racial undertones are concerned.

I'm not trying to oversimplify this and find a single person to "blame." Just the opposite -- I'm trying to evaluate all the contributing factors, because this is a more complicated and nuanced situation than people tend to assume. And one of those factors is that, as she proved on Stargate, Katharyn Powers had a tendency to portray non-Terran or non-Western cultures in this kind of broad and anthropologically awkward fashion. ("Code of Honor" has nothing on SG-1's "Emancipation," which totally misrepresents Mongol culture.)


This, I can agree with. On the "assumptions that would've been hard to unlearn" aspect, I think maybe this was one of the reasons I've heard that they brought in some new people for season 2 show running. At least that's what I heard.
Oh, hardly. Most of the first-season staffers left because they were driven away by the bad treatment they received from the clique that surrounded the ailing Roddenberry. For instance, Roddenberry had his lawyer rewriting the scripts, even though the lawyer wasn't a WGA member and wasn't supposed to be doing that. (David Gerrold developed such fierce hatred for the lawyer that practically everything he's written since then contains totally awful characters named after the lawyer, uses his name as an alien curse or the name of some horrible disease, that sort of thing.)


I think the issue here was that the Ligonians were portrayed as savage-like, "take by force," conniving people, while the "aliens" of the very next episode were blonde and blue and happily innocent and naive in their own little Utopia. There was a twist to this which came, of course, from some "outside" evil force and the TNG crew got to be their rescuers IIRC... The contrast is where the problem lies, FWIW.
I'd hardly say they were portrayed as "savage" any more than "primitive." "Savage" means wild and uncontrolled. The Ligonians did engage in behavior like kidnapping and duels, but they were very orderly and formal about it, following a well-established set of cultural traditions. They were very civilized by their own lights. If you read the script for this episode and had no idea what the Ligonians looked like, I doubt you would've ever gotten the impression that they were "savage."

The problem is, I think, that the audience is lumping all the different stereotypes together into a single ur-stereotype. What's actually onscreen is a mix of different cultural stereotypes, but all anyone remembers is that all the aliens were black, so they project black stereotypes onto it and thus misremember the facts of the episode. I don't question that there were unfortunate stereotypes involved, but like I said, let's get the facts straight so we know what it is we're actually judging.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 28 2012, 04:22 AM   #27
Romulus Prime
Lieutenant Commander
 
Romulus Prime's Avatar
 
Location: The broken state of California
Re: "Code of Honor" Ligonians: Humans or Aliens?

Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
Star Trek has a history of being more than "just a show" on a number of fronts. But anyway, I don't think it's an issue of people wanting to be offended or victimized, it's more of an issue of an unfounded tradition.
No, it is just a show, and like anything else, is made more than this by personal opinion. Now, I love most of Star Trek and I'll argue points and circumstances against opinions I oppose, but at the end of the day, I don't lose track of the fact it's anything more than a form of entertainment.

And yes, people do want to be victims when it's comfortable. I see it all the time AND have been on the receiving end when people assumed I was one ethnicity and not another simply based on my outward appearance.

IMO, the episode isn't racist one bit, and if anyone is trying to convince me otherwise, it's because they want justification for their feelings. But hey, I guess Star Trek is racist towards whites for casting mostly white people to play Cardassians - some of the most heartless and ruthless villains in Trek history. Same with Romulans and Borg too, right?

Sorry, but this is much ado about nothing, and perpetuating this myth about the Ligonians - an alien race I always thought were cool - is just another example of how to water down the meaning of the terms "racist" and "racism."

__________________
Centurion: "...power is danger."

Romulan Commander: "Danger and I are old companions." - TOS episode Balance of Terror


"Living in your dreams is like living in exile.
" - Calyx, A Stitch in Time


"Shame on you, Barack Obama!" -
Hillary Clinton

"It's the economy, stupid." - Bill Clinton
Romulus Prime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 28 2012, 05:13 AM   #28
Morpheus 02
Commodore
 
Location: Chicago IL
Re: "Code of Honor" Ligonians: Humans or Aliens?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Morpheus 02 wrote: View Post
But as R. Star pointed out...the "perfect people" of the following week's Justice are Aryans, while primitives are portrayed by blacks the previous week.
I'm sorry, but that's not true. The Ligonians were not portrayed as "primitive." They were comparatively less advanced than the 24th-century Federation and were traditionalist in many ways, but they had their own transporter technology, a beam or forcefield technology (the light beams in the combat arena), and medicine that was in some ways beyond Federation medicine, though in some ways not. And they presumably had warp drive, since according to "The First Duty," Picard had wrestled a Ligonian as an Academy cadet. So the Ligonians were at least as technologically advanced as, say, the humans of Jonathan Archer's era. Sure, they liked to cling to their more archaic traditions, but then, so do the Vulcans and Klingons.

By contrast, the Edo of "Justice" were comparatively primitive. They showed no sign of having high technology or space travel; the only indication they had any technology at all was that they lived in the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant. Basically they seemed to be the kind of sci-fi civilization that's just coasting on the accomplishments of its ancestors and has degenerated to a simpler level. After all, it's pretty obvious they were inspired by the Eloi from The Time Machine.


Because of that bad casting, we never got to see more humanoid races that were portrayed by actors of a different ethnicity or group.
Err, yes, we did -- Klingons, Vulcans (as in Tuvok), Jem'Hadar, Hirogen, Xindi Primates and Arboreals, the occasional Romulan or Cardassian, and numerous others.

Unless you're saying that we never saw another human-looking alien race played entirely by a single nonwhite ethnic group, but would that really have been a good idea anyway? Better to do what they actually did, and allow alien races to have ethnic variety just as humans did rather than having an all-white species here, an all-black one there, an all-Asian one there, etc.
Sorry -- when i mean humanoid...i mean basically "human, with possible exception of a funny forehead". Most of the races you mentioned had serious make up, so that wasn't an issue with me. As far as I know, on screen, the Andorians in Enterprise are the only non-human races that had different skin color. (And interetsing that Shran would call humans "pink skins" -- some of the stuff i liked about Enterprise)

And regarding Ligonians...they might have mentioned that backstory...but it's not what we saw on screen.

While we can isolate the points of the story...for many people, you have weigh it against 20 years (at that point) of whiteness in Trek, and then hundreds of years of cultural potrayal of blacks as savages/violent.

it may not make logical sense...but it hurts a lot of hearts.
Christopher wrote: View Post
Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
And perhaps they should have cast white actors for this one, interestingly enough, they didn't. Just speaking for myself, none of the depictions of aliens when they were played by whites were in episodes that were this bad.
.
I think the issue here was that the Ligonians were portrayed as savage-like, "take by force," conniving people, while the "aliens" of the very next episode were blonde and blue and happily innocent and naive in their own little Utopia. There was a twist to this which came, of course, from some "outside" evil force and the TNG crew got to be their rescuers IIRC... The contrast is where the problem lies, FWIW.
I'd hardly say they were portrayed as "savage" any more than "primitive." "Savage" means wild and uncontrolled. The Ligonians did engage in behavior like kidnapping and duels, but they were very orderly and formal about it, following a well-established set of cultural traditions. They were very civilized by their own lights. If you read the script for this episode and had no idea what the Ligonians looked like, I doubt you would've ever gotten the impression that they were "savage."

The problem is, I think, that the audience is lumping all the different stereotypes together into a single ur-stereotype. What's actually onscreen is a mix of different cultural stereotypes, but all anyone remembers is that all the aliens were black, so they project black stereotypes onto it and thus misremember the facts of the episode. I don't question that there were unfortunate stereotypes involved, but like I said, let's get the facts straight so we know what it is we're actually judging.
Even though it's not "logical" that audience members interpret...when you only have 1 episode to communicate a civilization , you gotta make a better effort than what we saw.

Romulus Prime wrote: View Post
Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
Star Trek has a history of being more than "just a show" on a number of fronts. But anyway, I don't think it's an issue of people wanting to be offended or victimized, it's more of an issue of an unfounded tradition.
No, it is just a show, and like anything else, is made more than this by personal opinion. Now, I love most of Star Trek and I'll argue points and circumstances against opinions I oppose, but at the end of the day, I don't lose track of the fact it's anything more than a form of entertainment.

And yes, people do want to be victims when it's comfortable. I see it all the time AND have been on the receiving end when people assumed I was one ethnicity and not another simply based on my outward appearance.

IMO, the episode isn't racist one bit, and if anyone is trying to convince me otherwise, it's because they want justification for their feelings. But hey, I guess Star Trek is racist towards whites for casting mostly white people to play Cardassians - some of the most heartless and ruthless villains in Trek history. Same with Romulans and Borg too, right?

Sorry, but this is much ado about nothing, and perpetuating this myth about the Ligonians - an alien race I always thought were cool - is just another example of how to water down the meaning of the terms "racist" and "racism."

Now, it's not racist towards whites, because they are portrayed in a vast variety. So for all the negative races you mentioned, there were also noble and neutral races equally represented. In Trek, they never really showed a human (or human like)_ race being portrayed by mostly non-whites. It's kinda like the debate about the Oscars...whites get Oscars for all kinds of roles...but for African Americans, the major Oscars they've won has been only messed up people or maids...not generals or presidents or anything on that end of the spectrum.
__________________
Morpheus 02
a.k.a.
JP Paulus jp [at] paulus . com
Morpheus 02 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 28 2012, 05:38 AM   #29
Spock/Uhura Fan
Captain
 
Spock/Uhura Fan's Avatar
 
Location: Where It's At.
Re: "Code of Honor" Ligonians: Humans or Aliens?

Christopher wrote: View Post

Are you kidding? "Justice?" "Angel One?" There are plenty of episodes worse than this one. If nothing else, it had a fantastic musical score by Fred Steiner, the only TOS composer to score a TNG episode.
That's where "Just speaking for myself," comes in. I haven't seen every single episode of Star Trek, so that may be true, but this is the worst episode I have seen, I can tell you that. It may have had a nice musical score, but so did Transformers 2. The musical score neither makes the episode nor the film.


And if the world were only built off of intentions. The problem is that wasn't the result, and for people who are in the business of how things look, this was a complete fail they should have been able to avoid if they wanted to.
I do not deny for a minute that the result was unfortunate. But if we're to judge, let's judge what actually happened instead of a set of distortions or oversimplifications.
And what actually happened was really bad if you consider that a large number of people were turned off from it. My guess is that wasn't the intent either. What offends some people might not offend others, but to call that offense "distortion" and "oversimplification" sounds like a distortion and an oversimplification in and of itself.




Huh? Okay, you've got this completely backward. My whole point is that what ended up onscreen is not what the writers intended, at least not where the racial undertones are concerned.
But you blamed Ms. Powers for writing a bad script, or at least that's what it looked like. What's that saying? "You can't make a good movie with a bad script, but you can make a bad movie with a good one." If she wrote a bad script, then the episode was doomed to begin with. If she wrote a good script and, through the approval process, it was rewritten into something she never meant for it to be, well then that's different. Do you know if that's what happened?

I'm not trying to oversimplify this and find a single person to "blame." Just the opposite -- I'm trying to evaluate all the contributing factors, because this is a more complicated and nuanced situation than people tend to assume. And one of those factors is that, as she proved on Stargate, Katharyn Powers had a tendency to portray non-Terran or non-Western cultures in this kind of broad and anthropologically awkward fashion. ("Code of Honor" has nothing on SG-1's "Emancipation," which totally misrepresents Mongol culture.)
And interestingly enough, Emancipation, as bad as it was, it was not nearly as bad as Code of Honor to me or as offensive. And there were different people in charge of that series, which makes me wonder what role that might have played in how I view these episodes both authored by the same person. That's not to say that Stargate didn't have it's issues as well, but that's another topic for another day, imo.


This, I can agree with. On the "assumptions that would've been hard to unlearn" aspect, I think maybe this was one of the reasons I've heard that they brought in some new people for season 2 show running. At least that's what I heard.
Oh, hardly. Most of the first-season staffers left because they were driven away by the bad treatment they received from the clique that surrounded the ailing Roddenberry. For instance, Roddenberry had his lawyer rewriting the scripts, even though the lawyer wasn't a WGA member and wasn't supposed to be doing that. (David Gerrold developed such fierce hatred for the lawyer that practically everything he's written since then contains totally awful characters named after the lawyer, uses his name as an alien curse or the name of some horrible disease, that sort of thing.)
If a lawyer was rewriting the scripts, then that says something. Do you know if he worked on the one in question? I'm sorry to hear that the staff had such a hard time, but whatever happened, I'm glad that the series got better as the years went on.


I think the issue here was that the Ligonians were portrayed as savage-like, "take by force," conniving people, while the "aliens" of the very next episode were blonde and blue and happily innocent and naive in their own little Utopia. There was a twist to this which came, of course, from some "outside" evil force and the TNG crew got to be their rescuers IIRC... The contrast is where the problem lies, FWIW.
I'd hardly say they were portrayed as "savage" any more than "primitive." "Savage" means wild and uncontrolled. The Ligonians did engage in behavior like kidnapping and duels, but they were very orderly and formal about it, following a well-established set of cultural traditions. They were very civilized by their own lights. If you read the script for this episode and had no idea what the Ligonians looked like, I doubt you would've ever gotten the impression that they were "savage."
Well, it seems wild and uncontrolled to me to steal a member of another group of people you've never come in contact with and take them as your own. Sure, this has happened historically with certain groups of people in the past, but that doesn't make it any less savage, at least not to me. I think, based on the script, that I would consider that act savage--because I do, in fact, consider that savage behavior.

The problem is, I think, that the audience is lumping all the different stereotypes together into a single ur-stereotype. What's actually onscreen is a mix of different cultural stereotypes, but all anyone remembers is that all the aliens were black, so they project black stereotypes onto it and thus misremember the facts of the episode. I don't question that there were unfortunate stereotypes involved, but like I said, let's get the facts straight so we know what it is we're actually judging.
Well, if that's what "the audience" is doing, then that means that someone didn't do their job well when they made this episode. It's very presumptuous to assume that the audience is "misremembering" anything. If you don't agree with the conclusions other people made, that's one thing, but to suggest that only people that agree with you came to the "right" one is something else. It's not a matter of right or wrong, but as you liked to mention above, it's a matter of what happened. And what happened was that a lot of viewers were offended. Whoever made this episode failed.



Romulus Prime wrote: View Post
Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
Star Trek has a history of being more than "just a show" on a number of fronts. But anyway, I don't think it's an issue of people wanting to be offended or victimized, it's more of an issue of an unfounded tradition.
No, it is just a show, and like anything else, is made more than this by personal opinion. Now, I love most of Star Trek and I'll argue points and circumstances against opinions I oppose, but at the end of the day, I don't lose track of the fact it's anything more than a form of entertainment.
The pioneering that happened in Star Trek is more than just personal opinion; it is fact. I can list some of those facts if you’d like. You’re right that it is a form of entertainment, but it is also a form of entertainment that did more than just entertain.


And yes, people do want to be victims when it's comfortable. I see it all the time AND have been on the receiving end when people assumed I was one ethnicity and not another simply based on my outward appearance.

IMO, the episode isn't racist one bit, and if anyone is trying to convince me otherwise, it's because they want justification for their feelings. But hey, I guess Star Trek is racist towards whites for casting mostly white people to play Cardassians - some of the most heartless and ruthless villains in Trek history. Same with Romulans and Borg too, right?

Sorry, but this is much ado about nothing, and perpetuating this myth about the Ligonians - an alien race I always thought were cool - is just another example of how to water down the meaning of the terms "racist" and "racism."

[IMG]file:///C:%5CUsers%5COwner%5CAppData%5CLocal%5CTemp%5Cmsoh tmlclip1%5C01%5Cclip_image001.gif[/IMG]
No one is trying to convince you of anything. You had one reaction and opinion of the episode, and other people, including myself, had another. You would be making a good point with the Cardassians, the Romulans, and the Borg if most of the best races and heros in Trek history weren’t also cast using white actors. The trick of trying to create a “made up” issue by only specifying only half of it is always interesting to me.

IMO, the episode had racially insensitive themes, and if anyone is trying to convince me otherwise, it’s because they want justifications for their feelings. I just felt like maybe I could give a little of the disregarding of anyone that had a different reaction back to you.

“Myth,” and “much ado about nothing” are also opinions of yours based off of your experience. The fact that you actually think that they were “cool” says enough to me. When anyone can take the offense that a number of people had to the same thing for the same reasons and waive it off as “watering down” racism and what’s racist, that is very sad to me because it says they are not very open to how other people experience things. And it’s when we are not open to how other people experience the world that things like “sexism,” “racism,” “homophobia,” etc. have the greatest likelihood of carrying on. Just my opinion, of course. Take it if you will.
__________________
MA'AM. Hot damn, I can dig it.

“The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.” - Virginia Woolf
Spock/Uhura Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 28 2012, 05:41 AM   #30
Spock/Uhura Fan
Captain
 
Spock/Uhura Fan's Avatar
 
Location: Where It's At.
Re: "Code of Honor" Ligonians: Humans or Aliens?

I completely agree with you, Morpheus 02, and thank you.
__________________
MA'AM. Hot damn, I can dig it.

“The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.” - Virginia Woolf
Spock/Uhura Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:38 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.