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Old January 9 2013, 01:56 AM   #16
The Wormhole
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Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

Hyfen_Underskor wrote: View Post
Which brings up another question, if TOS was a groundbreaking show, why did the groundbreaking stop with TOS? I admit to not having watched the other series (save a few Next Generation episodes), but I've never heard of anything groundbreaking as far as any of the following series goes. Did being revolutionary become less important after TOS?
Not necessarily less important, just harder. By the time of TNG and the other shows it was harder for them to be groundbreaking since a lot of other shows were covering the kind of stuff that brought attention to TOS. By the 1990s there were other shows which had female and minority lead characters, and therefore Trek couldn't steal the spotlight in this way.
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Old January 9 2013, 02:30 AM   #17
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Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

I don't know if TOS was interracially revolutionary or progressive, I suppose much is a matter of perception.

But if TOS didn't specifically make an issue of interracial matters directly, it was implied by the nature of the show. That is, inter-SPECIES relations were accepted and human-alien relations were commonplace. I think the suggestion was to show that if humans and aliens can interact in all kinds of ways, humans interacting with humans (all races inclusive) should be a no-brainer in the future.
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Old January 9 2013, 02:17 PM   #18
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Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

SchwEnt wrote: View Post
I don't know if TOS was interracially revolutionary or progressive, I suppose much is a matter of perception.

But if TOS didn't specifically make an issue of interracial matters directly, it was implied by the nature of the show. That is, inter-SPECIES relations were accepted and human-alien relations were commonplace. I think the suggestion was to show that if humans and aliens can interact in all kinds of ways, humans interacting with humans (all races inclusive) should be a no-brainer in the future.
Unfortunately, people of the sixties probably had less issue with white people intermingling with aliens than with people of color. I'll never understand what people were thinking...
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Old January 9 2013, 05:33 PM   #19
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Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

^I think it would be more accurate to say "a portion of people in the sixties..."
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Old January 9 2013, 05:58 PM   #20
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Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

Growing up in the 1960s, I didn't know any black people until I went to college, there were none in my elemetary or high schools. Prior to that, my only direct contact was with one who was a porter on a train (before Amtrak). But I do remember watching news footage of protestors during civil rights marches being attacked with fire hoses and by police, and wondering what these people had done to deserve such treatment.
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Old January 9 2013, 07:53 PM   #21
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Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

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. . .Sulu kissing France Nguyen would have been out of the question. American media seems to have this strange idea that Asian males don't interact with females of any race including their own.
You don't seem to have a good understanding of American media with this comment. The film "Flower Drum Song" was released in 1961. I don't know if it aired on television during Star Trek's original run, but it's possible. And you seem to be completely ignoring the Sulu/Uhura scenes in "Mirror, Mirror".

During the 1960s, most non-white actors on television were in supporting roles as either bad guys, victims, or servants and menials. Star Trek, along with other series like I Spy and Julia, were all important in opening doors to non-white actors. But in those days, such actors usually weren't even considered for such roles unless it was specifically indicated in a script.
The comment doesn't just involve American media, but American society as a whole. The American media merely reflects our society.

I admit, "The Flower Drum Song" is a bit unique....to some degree. That is if we center on the movie and not the stage play. It's very common for leading Asian male characters to be portrayed by White males (commonly referred to as the "Yellow Face"). On stage, the leading male character was played by Larry Blyden. Fortunately, the movie producers decided to go with Jack Soo who played the MC in the Broadway production.

I'm not implying that Asian male actors are never depicted as having female mates, but usually they are in relatively non-romantic roles, like elderly shop owners. Or, like in a movie that I don't recall the title of, where an Asian woman has a crush on a white leading actor (I think he was a clergyman), who insists that she goes back to her chauvinistic Asian husband (which she does reluctantly). We kind of see this theme played out in "The Joy Luck Club". The liberal Asian female breaking from the traditional, old-fashioned, Asian male.

As far as the Sulu/Uhura scene goes, I had not forgotten it (or ignoring it), and glad you brought it up.

Asian males and Black females have one thing in common...they are both...I guess we could say, victims....of an interracial marriage/dating disparity. That is, the ratio of Asian females and Black males dating/marrying outside of their race far exceeds those of their counter race/gender. While both Blacks and Asians face stereo-types as a whole, the Asian male and Black female are subject to their own unique stereo-types. In fact, Michelle Obama has been noted as being a stereo-type breaker of Black women. A rare Asian male stereo-type breaker would be that Korean actor (can't remember his name) from "Hawaii 5-0".

So although we may not see many depictions of Asian males and Black females, it's probably a safer depiction than an Asian male with a white, or even Asian female as far as what Americans want to see.

Not that this is anything to use as an all-in-all example, but I happened to run into this on the web:

This only made the honorable mention on given list:

Sanaa Lathan and Chi Muoi Lo in 'Catfish in Blackbean Sauce'

http://blog.moviefone.com/2010/03/12...cial-romances/
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Old January 9 2013, 09:26 PM   #22
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Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

Hyfen_Underskor wrote: View Post
...that Korean actor (can't remember his name) from "Hawaii 5-0".
Daniel Dae Kim. Although he's only Korean by birth, American by upbringing and citizenship.


So although we may not see many depictions of Asian males and Black females, it's probably a safer depiction than an Asian male with a white, or even Asian female as far as what Americans want to see.
That seems to be less and less the case over time. The younger generation is more used to multiculturalism and these matters aren't as big a deal to them. I see plenty of interracial relationships on TV these days, and it's not treated as an "issue" or a big deal anymore. Not to mention that there are increasingly many bi- or multiracial actors and actresses these days, people who blur the lines between ethnic categories.
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Old January 9 2013, 09:52 PM   #23
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Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

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...that Korean actor (can't remember his name) from "Hawaii 5-0".
Daniel Dae Kim. Although he's only Korean by birth, American by upbringing and citizenship.


So although we may not see many depictions of Asian males and Black females, it's probably a safer depiction than an Asian male with a white, or even Asian female as far as what Americans want to see.
That seems to be less and less the case over time. The younger generation is more used to multiculturalism and these matters aren't as big a deal to them. I see plenty of interracial relationships on TV these days, and it's not treated as an "issue" or a big deal anymore. Not to mention that there are increasingly many bi- or multiracial actors and actresses these days, people who blur the lines between ethnic categories.
At best, that's very questionable. I think it's important to realize that in the case of Asian American depiction in media, there is an Asian media watch group that confronts the media when they feel they are being unfairly portrayed in specific TV shows, etc.

No change has ever come about solely due to media teams deciding what they are doing is wrong. The changes are generally made due to being confronted by those who feel they are being victimized by media stereotype.

The Asian racism issue is quite a bit more subtle than the Black racism issue. From what I gather (not being an Asian male), they have more of a low-key approach because they want to avoid certain extremes like the Black exploitation movies, where certain people cashed in on portraying Black alpha-male types with multiple women (including White), and putting down the evil White crooked businessmen.

There really has not been a lot of change. And what little there is is probably due to pressure the media normally wouldn't give in to. The media is somewhat forced to take negative Asian stereotypes a bit more seriously, although they will still attempt to appease to the common American male who still wants to see the Asian geeks, Kung Fu eunuchs, etc.
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Old January 10 2013, 12:45 AM   #24
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Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

Certainly there's a way to go, but I think we are seeing change with the growing prominence of actors like Daniel Dae Kim and John Cho. Beyond any single ethnic type, I'm seeing an increase in multiethnic casting in general on TV.

After all, the assumption that the "common American male" is a WASP is becoming increasingly less true as demographics shift. We saw that in the 2012 election, when the party that catered principally to white males was trounced by the party whose coalition included just about everyone else. Countless analysts have agreed that the Republican Party can't win any more elections unless it broadens its appeal beyond white males, and if the evolving demographics of the country make that true for a political party, it's likely to be true for a TV studio as well.
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Old January 10 2013, 02:24 AM   #25
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Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

Melakon wrote: View Post
During the 1960s, most non-white actors on television were in supporting roles as either bad guys, victims, or servants and menials. Star Trek, along with other series like I Spy and Julia, were all important in opening doors to non-white actors.
It's worth noting that I Spy, in which Bill Cosby had an essentially equal co-starring role with Robert Culp, debuted in 1965, a year earlier than Star Trek.
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Old January 10 2013, 03:58 AM   #26
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Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

^That's right. Overall, I'd say that Alexander Scott (Cosby's character) and Barney Collier from Mission: Impossible had a bigger cultural impact in terms of positive portrayals of black characters than Lt. Uhura did. They certainly had much bigger roles in their respective shows. (And what's sad is that the 2002 Eddie Murphy/Owen Wilson I Spy remake portrayed its black lead in a far more stereotypical light than a show from 37 years earlier had done.)
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Old January 10 2013, 05:21 AM   #27
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Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

BillJ wrote: View Post
SchwEnt wrote: View Post
I don't know if TOS was interracially revolutionary or progressive, I suppose much is a matter of perception.

But if TOS didn't specifically make an issue of interracial matters directly, it was implied by the nature of the show. That is, inter-SPECIES relations were accepted and human-alien relations were commonplace. I think the suggestion was to show that if humans and aliens can interact in all kinds of ways, humans interacting with humans (all races inclusive) should be a no-brainer in the future.
Unfortunately, people of the sixties probably had less issue with white people intermingling with aliens than with people of color. I'll never understand what people were thinking...
I agree completely with your post, BillJ. I only knew one black kid in K-12 in our farming community and he was Puerto Rican. (I remember everyone always throwing that PR part in... every time).

We moved to Charlotte, NC just before my senior year started. My new school was 60% black, so there was some culture shock. Fortunately, TOS and a community where people were respected for what they do, not their ethnicity... made the transition much easier.

In the 1960s, we lived in Dayton, Ohio and I remember being told not to go into certain areas, because The Black Panthers were there. As a 2nd & 3rd grader, I didn't know what it meant, but knew I wasn't to go there. The 1960s were a different time than many younger people can comprehend.
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Old January 10 2013, 05:36 AM   #28
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Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

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In the 1960s, we lived in Dayton, Ohio and I remember being told not to go into certain areas, because The Black Panthers were there. As a 2nd & 3rd grader, I didn't know what it meant, but knew I wasn't to go there. The 1960s were a different time than many younger people can comprehend.
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Old January 10 2013, 05:43 AM   #29
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Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

^What movie was that clip from? He's right, though. When you are 5, you have no idea about those things. Would that we kept our childlike innocence.
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Old January 10 2013, 05:46 AM   #30
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Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

Growing up in the 60s and 70s, I spent part of my childhood living on or around Air Force Bases in Texas and Japan. There were always people of color in my schools and in the neighborhood. My friends were white, Asian, Hispanic, black and bi-racial. Of course when I was overseas, there wasn't a choice when it came to neighborhoods and housing. You lived where and with whomever the USAF decided. Though all of the schools I attended were predominantly white. Even my parents, who grew up in South, had non-white friends. Two of my aunts, who lived with us for awhile, wound up marrying Mexican-Americans.
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