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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.

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Old December 29 2012, 06:20 PM   #1
The Overlord
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Was Code of Honor racist?

Was Code of Honor racist?
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Old December 29 2012, 06:21 PM   #2
Nerys Myk
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

Hey it's our bi-monthly Code of Honor thread!
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Old December 29 2012, 06:30 PM   #3
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

I don't know if it was racist, but it was lame.
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Old December 29 2012, 06:32 PM   #4
JarodRussell
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

The Overlord wrote: View Post
Was Code of Honor racist?
Why, just because the actors were black?
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Old December 29 2012, 06:35 PM   #5
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

I think that there were unfortunate choices that, when combined, led to the final product being fairly easily perceived as racist.

I've said before that, if they had bumpy foreheads or wore the clothes from, say, The Hunted, then I think the accusations of racism would have much less footing.
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Old December 29 2012, 06:37 PM   #6
R. Star
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

When you can sum up the plot with "white woman kidnapped on planet full of black people" they goofed somewhere.
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Old December 29 2012, 06:41 PM   #7
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

Star Grinch wrote: View Post
When you can sum up the plot with "white woman kidnapped on planet full of black people" they goofed somewhere.
Yup. And that goof was committed by Roddenberry who as Executive Producer green lit the whole thing.
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Old December 29 2012, 06:53 PM   #8
The Overlord
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
The Overlord wrote: View Post
Was Code of Honor racist?
Why, just because the actors were black?
No, its because the Ligonians were presented in "1940s African Tribal Style" in that episode.
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Old December 29 2012, 06:54 PM   #9
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

Most of the sources I've read seem to place the blame on the director, who decided to cast all the planet's inhabitants as blacks. Apparently his attitude toward those actors was unacceptable, as Roddenberry fired him midway into production and another director finished the shoot.
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Old December 29 2012, 06:58 PM   #10
at Quark's
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

If you want, you can always find something racist I think. I watched 'genesis' a few weeks ago, and it occurred to me that everybody seems to be devolving but Geordi. Perhaps they wanted to convey the message that there was no 'room' for him to devolve into something more primitive ?

(Not being serious, of course, just trying to make the point that one can try to see too much in an episode). I think I agree with SonicRanger, that it is just the result of some ill-considered choices without the intent to be racist.
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Old December 29 2012, 07:09 PM   #11
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

When you consider the time pressure involved with putting out a weekly series, I think it's easy to see how a series of ill-considered decisions can pile up into a big mess. The episode was simply terrible and just about any derogatory adjective you want to put on it fits. That said, there is a difference between being deliberately racist and putting out a product that ended up looking that way. (I hope that makes sense) I would be this one one of those times when somewhere during the shoot someone said "oh shit"...but by then it would be too late.
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Old December 29 2012, 07:23 PM   #12
JarodRussell
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

btw
SonicRanger's Signature wrote:
D.C. Fontana on Roddenberry's bad ideas: "I objected to Troi having three breasts... How are you going to line them up? Vertically, horizontally, or what?"
Did she ever see Total Recall and go "Ah!"?
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Old December 29 2012, 07:40 PM   #13
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

We covered this back in August in this thread. The culture in the script is stereotyped, but they're Orientalist stereotypes rather than African ones; the episode explicitly says that the Ligonian culture resembles Ming China. The screenwriters based the Ligonians on samurai culture and intended them to be reptilian, or at least played by actors of multiple ethnicities. But the decision was made to cast them as all-black and use stock African accents.


Melakon wrote: View Post
Most of the sources I've read seem to place the blame on the director, who decided to cast all the planet's inhabitants as blacks. Apparently his attitude toward those actors was unacceptable, as Roddenberry fired him midway into production and another director finished the shoot.
I think "most of the sources" are probably just repeating what Wil Wheaton reported as hearsay in his blog analysis of the episode, as discussed in the earlier thread. The story that the director was so racist toward black actors that it got him fired is questionable when you consider that, starting the following year, he went on to direct 18 episodes of In the Heat of the Night, a show with several regular African-American cast members -- apparently including Trek novelist and TrekBBS member Geoff Thorne! Perhaps if Geoff sees this thread, he might offer some insight.
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Old December 29 2012, 08:36 PM   #14
Dale Sams
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

SonicRanger wrote: View Post
I think that there were unfortunate choices that, when combined, led to the final product being fairly easily perceived as racist.

I've said before that, if they had bumpy foreheads or wore the clothes from, say, The Hunted, then I think the accusations of racism would have much less footing.
Exactly. Racist? nah. bad taste, bad choices yes.

As an American Indian, I can certainly complain about that episode with Wesley in season seven. My biggest complaints were the writers and actors saying "We're doing an Indian episode!" Awesome guys when are you doing a Jew episode? (Ferengi aside) and the dialogue "What are you going to do about your Indians Picard!" Oh they arn't colonists?*

And don't get me started on Chakotay.

*I do want to say that awareness has grown leaps and bounds since that ep and also that like Code of Honor, it isn't racist, just bad choices and a little ignorance.
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Old December 29 2012, 08:59 PM   #15
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

Bad choices and poor judgement aside, I still really enjoy CoH with its decided TOS-like vibe.
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