RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 140,854
Posts: 5,474,412
Members: 25,043
Currently online: 477
Newest member: denver23

TrekToday headlines

Retro Review: Covenant
By: Michelle on Nov 22

Two Official Starships Collection Previews
By: T'Bonz on Nov 21

Saldana: Women Issues In Hollywood
By: T'Bonz on Nov 21

Shatner Book Kickstarter
By: T'Bonz on Nov 20

Trek Original Series Slippers
By: T'Bonz on Nov 19

Hemsworth Is Sexiest Man Alive
By: T'Bonz on Nov 19

Trek Business Card Cases
By: T'Bonz on Nov 17

February IDW Publishing Trek Comics
By: T'Bonz on Nov 17

Retro Review: The Siege of AR-558
By: Michelle on Nov 15

Trevco Full Bleed Uniform T-Shirts
By: T'Bonz on Nov 14


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 > Star Trek - Original Series

Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 4 2013, 01:17 AM   #1
Danger Ace
Commander
 
Danger Ace's Avatar
 
Location: California
"Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

I recently picked upa Star Trek magazine off the newstand wherein they had an article on the "Top 100 Moments in Star Trek." In the number two spot was the inter-racial kiss between Kirk and Uhura from "Plato's Stepchildren", and it was being hailed as an advancement. I could never get behind that notion.

Why?

Because it is painfully clear in the episode that neither Kirk nor Uhura were acting of their own free-will. They were forced, and that it is, by every definition, rape! It was, in fact, made worse by imagery of a white-on-black rape (though Kirk was just as much a victim - please no, "you can't rape the willing" snarkiness) especially in those volatile times.

So again, why is it celebrated? Was it truly a positive depiction? Did it really break a barrier? Do folks get so wrapped in wanting to praise the series that they feel justified in manufacturing and misrepresenting things?
__________________
Mahalo,
Danger Ace
Danger Ace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4 2013, 03:16 AM   #2
Mr. Adventure
Admiral
 
Mr. Adventure's Avatar
 
Location: Mr. Adventure
Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

I think using rape is needlessly inciteful but I have thought in recent years that it was unfortunate that the oft hyped first kiss was under forced coercion.
Mr. Adventure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4 2013, 03:31 AM   #3
Danger Ace
Commander
 
Danger Ace's Avatar
 
Location: California
Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
I think using rape is needlessly inciteful but I have thought in recent years that it was unfortunate that the oft hyped first kiss was under forced coercion.
Inciteful? Well, I cop to that in so far as I couldn't find a politer way of putting it (which is my bad). I confess that it boggles my mind though that "Star Trek" is given any credit for this kiss considering the context of the circumstances.

And don't people find it in any way insulting that the PR machine perpetuates this? I mean there are literally pages that could be filled in listing legitimate positives and highlights of "Star Trek" since in its inceptions, does it need to hype a forced sexual encounter?

And if "rape" is too strong, how would others classify it and justify its exaltation?

Seriously.
__________________
Mahalo,
Danger Ace
Danger Ace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4 2013, 03:40 AM   #4
Harvey
Admiral
 
Harvey's Avatar
 
Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

"The first interracial kiss on television" fits the narrative that has been used to sell the Franchise for a while. Of course, it wasn't the first (other posters have covered this previously) and the actual context of the episode, as noted here, isn't nearly as progressive as the claims of the show being ground-breaking suggest.

But, print the legend.
__________________
"This begs explanation." - de Forest Research on Star Trek

My blog: Star Trek Fact Check.
Harvey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4 2013, 03:40 AM   #5
Melakon
Vice Admiral
 
Melakon's Avatar
 
Location: Unmarked grave, Ekos
Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
I recently picked upa Star Trek magazine off the newstand wherein they had an article on the "Top 100 Moments in Star Trek." In the number two spot was the inter-racial kiss between Kirk and Uhura from "Plato's Stepchildren", and it was being hailed as an advancement. I could never get behind that notion.

Why?
Maybe you weren't alive yet in the 60s, but it was an advancement because there had not been a scene on television before with a kiss on the lips between a white man and a black woman. There are some sources that dispute this moment, but that's why it was considered ground-breaking. Some stations refused to air it.

And apologies to Harvey for simultaneously contradicting him in the same minute.
__________________
Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard: For duty and humanity! --Men in Black (1934)
Melakon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4 2013, 04:21 AM   #6
T'Girl
Vice Admiral
 
T'Girl's Avatar
 
Location: comfortably residing in the meat packing district
Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Both Kirk and Uhura were violated by the Platoians, "mind-rape" if you will. It's obvious that neither Kirk, nor Uhura, wished to be controlled in that manner. But describing it by using just the word "rape" is a misuse of the term.

It is certainly odd that this is still referred to as the "first interracial kiss. Star Trek itself had a previous interracial kiss in Elaan of Troyius (France Nuyen is Cambodian on her father's side).

__________________
.
TOS, TNG and VGR never mentioned a "Federation President."
T'Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4 2013, 04:27 AM   #7
Melakon
Vice Admiral
 
Melakon's Avatar
 
Location: Unmarked grave, Ekos
Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

And I don't think Asian males on tv were allowed to kiss white women for an even longer time.
__________________
Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard: For duty and humanity! --Men in Black (1934)
Melakon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4 2013, 04:47 AM   #8
ZapBrannigan
Fleet Captain
 
ZapBrannigan's Avatar
 
Location: New York State
Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Plato's Stepchildren has a wonderful moment at the very end, but there's a lot of senselessly terrible stuff to be endured before you get there. Barbara Babcock's regal beauty eases the pain little, but come on.

Did we have to see Kirk and Spock humiliated, then pantsed and humiliated some more (this time with untalented supporting actors, meaning the regulars that Gene Roddenberry was "getting it on" with)? Was there no other way to tell this story?

If I'm not mistaken Nichelle Nichols and Gene Roddenberry, over the decades, made innumerable out-of-context boasts about that kiss, and the media never called them on it, vis-a-vis the coercion aspect. [Edit: or, as T'Girl mentioned, the infinitely better business between Shatner and France Nuyen.]

Nichelle was reputed to be an enormously talented jazz singer; she should have hung her hat on that instead of hailing frequencies and a "historic" but deeply cringe-worthy scene where the point was to act like a marionette puppet.
ZapBrannigan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old April 4 2013, 04:54 AM   #9
Mr. Adventure
Admiral
 
Mr. Adventure's Avatar
 
Location: Mr. Adventure
Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
I think using rape is needlessly inciteful but I have thought in recent years that it was unfortunate that the oft hyped first kiss was under forced coercion.
Inciteful? Well, I cop to that in so far as I couldn't find a politer way of putting it (which is my bad). I confess that it boggles my mind though that "Star Trek" is given any credit for this kiss considering the context of the circumstances.

And don't people find it in any way insulting that the PR machine perpetuates this? I mean there are literally pages that could be filled in listing legitimate positives and highlights of "Star Trek" since in its inceptions, does it need to hype a forced sexual encounter?

And if "rape" is too strong, how would others classify it and justify its exaltation?

Seriously.
Would you seriously say to someone "Hey, did you ever see that episode of Star Trek where Kirk raped Uhura?", seriously?
Mr. Adventure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4 2013, 05:10 AM   #10
scotpens
Vice Admiral
 
scotpens's Avatar
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
And if "rape" is too strong, how would others classify it and justify its exaltation?
How about "involuntary osculation"?

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Nichelle was reputed to be an enormously talented jazz singer; she should have hung her hat on that instead of hailing frequencies and a "historic" but deeply cringe-worthy scene where the point was to act like a marionette puppet.
We heard Nichelle sing in "Charlie X" and "Conscience of the King." Calling her "enormously talented" as a singer is hyperbolic, I'd say.

The one episode where Nichelle/Uhura got a chance to be strong, assertive and sexy was "Mirror, Mirror." It's a shame there weren't more eps where she could really strut her stuff, as it were.
__________________
“All the universe or nothingness. Which shall it be, Passworthy? Which shall it be?”
scotpens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4 2013, 05:18 AM   #11
ZapBrannigan
Fleet Captain
 
ZapBrannigan's Avatar
 
Location: New York State
Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

scotpens wrote: View Post
We heard Nichelle sing in "Charlie X" and "Conscience of the King." Calling her "enormously talented" as a singer is hyperbolic, I'd say.
I'm not a first-hander on this, but I've read that she dazzled people in her stage shows with extraordinary singing. Thus, what she sang in the two ST episodes is not representative of what she could do with the right songs and a little freedom. In the episodes, Pegasus was hitched to a plow.
ZapBrannigan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old April 4 2013, 06:18 AM   #12
T'Girl
Vice Admiral
 
T'Girl's Avatar
 
Location: comfortably residing in the meat packing district
Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Did we have to see Kirk and Spock humiliated
Hmmm, now if it had been Shatner and Nimoy engaging in the identical kiss, now that might very well have been a network TV first.

__________________
.
TOS, TNG and VGR never mentioned a "Federation President."
T'Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4 2013, 01:40 PM   #13
Foxhot
Fleet Captain
 
Foxhot's Avatar
 
Location: everywhere
Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Many see this episode as extremely humilating to the characters. But considering Spock's furious hand reaction in Act Three where he barely suppresses his fury, plus McCoy admitting his own great anger, isn't that exactly the point? And Alexander's, and Uhura's and Chapel's too. I don't see much disparity between the posters and the writer's viewpoints.

Though Shatner semed to embrace the weirdness a bit too much, hamming up especially in the classic Act Two dance routines. When we saw him only from the back jumping the Tweedledee Bop, I find it hard not to burst out laughing.
Foxhot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4 2013, 02:49 PM   #14
1001001
Let the Good Times Roll!!
 
1001001's Avatar
 
Location: People's Gaypublic of Drugafornia
Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

"Rape" is most assuredly not the correct word.

You're correct about the story, but I imagine they simply gave themselves an "out" story-wise to make it more palatable to the masses.

He kissed her, but he didn't really kiss her.

Still, in context of the time, it was a brave decision to shoot that scene, so I'll give them a little credit.
__________________
“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States...The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge'.” - Isaac Asimov
1001001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4 2013, 03:55 PM   #15
Shatinator
Commander
 
Shatinator's Avatar
 
Location: Virginia
Re: "Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
I recently picked upa Star Trek magazine off the newstand wherein they had an article on the "Top 100 Moments in Star Trek." In the number two spot was the inter-racial kiss between Kirk and Uhura from "Plato's Stepchildren", and it was being hailed as an advancement. I could never get behind that notion.

Why?

Because it is painfully clear in the episode that neither Kirk nor Uhura were acting of their own free-will. They were forced, and that it is, by every definition, rape! It was, in fact, made worse by imagery of a white-on-black rape (though Kirk was just as much a victim - please no, "you can't rape the willing" snarkiness) especially in those volatile times.

So again, why is it celebrated? Was it truly a positive depiction? Did it really break a barrier? Do folks get so wrapped in wanting to praise the series that they feel justified in manufacturing and misrepresenting things?

The core of the question is why is this important. The first inter-racial kiss broadcast on US television.

The answer, is that it is symbolism for something much greater, that of equality for all despite your origins.

And perhaps when you search the best word to describe, may I pose this hypothetical. When your great Aunt Betty wants a kiss from her young nephew Johnny and Johnny is compelled to submit; is Aunt Betty "raping" a kiss out of Johnny.
__________________
The
S H A T I N A T O R
Shatinator is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
kirk, kiss, plato's, rape, uhura

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 01:25 PM.

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