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Old October 26 2013, 03:29 PM   #121
Christopher
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

KRAD wrote: View Post
Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post
black males as Klingons.
Actually, very few black males have played male Klingons. In fact, Michael Dorn was the first black person to play a Klingon, having been preceded by a mess'a white folks: John Colicos, William Campbell, Tige Andrews, Michael Ansara, Susan Howard, Mark Lenard, Christopher Lloyd, John Larroquette, John Schuck, etc.
Well, Ansara was Syrian. But they still put him in heavy brownface makeup.



KRAD wrote: View Post
(I also can't believe it took until Enterprise's fourth season to cast James Avery as a Klingon. That's a no-brainer right there....)
I agree. Heck, the TNG spec script I did back in 1992 featured a Klingon character that I wrote with Avery in mind.
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Old October 26 2013, 04:28 PM   #122
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post
My point was: The few black males that have been on the show, primarily during the Berman era, usually were portraying Klingons...or some alien with heavy make-up. (Or in LaForge's case, something covering their face). Avery Brooks and Cirroc Lofton broke that trend, but - on the other hand - they were both primarily depicted as having romantic relationships with primarily black women or alien characters portrayed by black women...in this supposedly evolved future where everyone is equal.

I was asking if the Berman era had the balls to have a strong black male lead in a series-long relationship with a non-black female(e.g. white or Asian female, or white/Asian female?) ...without calling attention their race. I think not.
They couldn't have done that in Sisko's case anyway. I don't remember where I heard (or read) this, but Avery Brooks reportedly inisted that any romance Sisko had be with a black woman, so a black actress was required. Which, presumably, is how Penny Johnson got hired.
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Old October 26 2013, 06:50 PM   #123
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

RandyS wrote: View Post
Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post
My point was: The few black males that have been on the show, primarily during the Berman era, usually were portraying Klingons...or some alien with heavy make-up. (Or in LaForge's case, something covering their face). Avery Brooks and Cirroc Lofton broke that trend, but - on the other hand - they were both primarily depicted as having romantic relationships with primarily black women or alien characters portrayed by black women...in this supposedly evolved future where everyone is equal.

I was asking if the Berman era had the balls to have a strong black male lead in a series-long relationship with a non-black female(e.g. white or Asian female, or white/Asian female?) ...without calling attention their race. I think not.
They couldn't have done that in Sisko's case anyway. I don't remember where I heard (or read) this, but Avery Brooks reportedly inisted that any romance Sisko had be with a black woman, so a black actress was required. Which, presumably, is how Penny Johnson got hired.
You're correct. I disagree with Avery Brooks on that....because it goes against the theme of what Star Trek is supposed to be about since, overall, any woman of any race should have been 'required.' If Sisko actually did end up with a black woman, it shouldn't be because he is black. (He is just basically playing into what the franchise was doing at the time with black characters, anyhow - keeping black characters primarily with black characters, or keeping black characters with alien characters visibly portrayed by black performers). That's just as bad as having his character, Sisko, randomly getting upset in a DS9 episode (i.e. 'Badda Boom Badda Bing') concerning what happened to black individuals in the 1960s. His reaction should have been different, unless racism or the same attitudes towards black people is the same in his century as it is today.
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Old October 26 2013, 07:00 PM   #124
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

^I see no problem with Sisko being aware and proud of his cultural heritage and objecting to the glorification of an age when his people were treated as inferior. Even with racism gone, that doesn't mean humanity would be culturally monolithic. If Scotty could be proud of being a Scot and Chekov proud of being Russian, there's no reason why Sisko shouldn't be proud of his African heritage.
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Old October 26 2013, 07:06 PM   #125
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post
RandyS wrote: View Post
Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post
My point was: The few black males that have been on the show, primarily during the Berman era, usually were portraying Klingons...or some alien with heavy make-up. (Or in LaForge's case, something covering their face). Avery Brooks and Cirroc Lofton broke that trend, but - on the other hand - they were both primarily depicted as having romantic relationships with primarily black women or alien characters portrayed by black women...in this supposedly evolved future where everyone is equal.

I was asking if the Berman era had the balls to have a strong black male lead in a series-long relationship with a non-black female(e.g. white or Asian female, or white/Asian female?) ...without calling attention their race. I think not.
They couldn't have done that in Sisko's case anyway. I don't remember where I heard (or read) this, but Avery Brooks reportedly inisted that any romance Sisko had be with a black woman, so a black actress was required. Which, presumably, is how Penny Johnson got hired.
You're correct. And, I disagree with Avery Brooks on that....because it goes against the theme of what Star Trek is supposed to be about. Overall, any woman of any race should have been 'required.'

That's just as bad as having his character, Sisko, randomly get upset in a DS9 episode (i.e. 'Badda Boom Badda Bing') about what happened to black individuals in the 1960s. Unless racism is the same in his century, his reaction should have been different.
Why? While I have nothing against the idea of mixed couples, I also think that there's anything wrong with a man or woman preferring to be with somebody of their own race.

What I DO have a problem with is the automatic reaction some people have that anybody who does prefer to have a romance with somebody of their own color is somehow a racist.

That's not always true, you know.
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Old October 26 2013, 07:39 PM   #126
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Julie Warner joked in an interview one time that she was cast as a love interest for Geordi La Forge because she's only an inch shorter than LeVar Burton, and that they were willing to mix races, but not mix heights.
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Old October 26 2013, 09:41 PM   #127
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Ouch.
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Old October 26 2013, 10:34 PM   #128
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

David Brennon wrote: View Post
Huh... that's interesting. So you feel the United States wasn't a legitimate government until 1870 or 1920 or maybe even later? That may read like snark (and this like sarcasm) but I am genuinely interested here -- don't get me wrong, snark and sarcasm are there, but I'm still interested in the content of your reply just the same . I can very much see your position as I have similar feelings about other states that I won't bring up here. It's an interesting point (I think i used that word three times now to describe how I feel... I'll stop).
I'm going to respond broadly to this segment here, because I do think it is germaine to the larger discussion:

It seems to me that most of human history is the story of people being oppressed by authoritarian regimes of various types -- the hereditary dictatorships we call "monarchies" of the European mideval era; the so-called "democracy" of wealthy, property-owning men in ancient Athens who kept huge percentages of the population as slaves; the oligarchy we call the Roman Republic; etc.

And I would argue that this trend continues well into the modern era. Not until the widesprad adoption and implementation of the ideas we might associate with the Englightenment and with modern liberal democracy -- equality, civil rights and liberties, all people born free, universal suffrage, etc. -- can we really argue that the societies of our ancestors ceased to be authoritarian regimes. (I'm gonna call that process "historical liberalization" for the sake of this argument -- obviously we're talking about a long and complex process that didn't always move in a linear pattern, not from nation to nation nor within nations.)

As a result, broadly-speaking, I'm very skeptical of the idea that a society that embraces democracy, equality, civil rights, and social justice, ought to celebrate the political leaders of those societies before historical liberalization. This, to me, applies not just to the idea, but the implementation; in spite of the beauty of the opening words to the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, for instance, I'm pretty skeptical of the idea that we ought to celebrate U.S. Presidents prior to the 13th Amendment, because they inherently perpetuated the enslavement and oppression of millions of people.

To me, having, for instance, a Federation Starship Thomas Jefferson would lend rhetorical support to a historical narrative that posits Jefferson as a man of freedom and progress and ignores the fact that he lived his life on the backs of three hundred or more men and women he kept in bondage, and that his government kept millions more in chains.

I want to specify that I am not singling out Jefferson or the United States. I'm skeptical of the idea of celebrating any political leader before the emergence of the egalitarian ideal.

I argue that this speaks to the broader topic at hand in terms of Eurocentrism, since many of these kinds of historical narratives are inherently Eurocentric.

Another example would be Christopher Columbus. For all his accomplishments as a seafarer and an explorer, and for all of his influence on history, the fact remains that Christopher Columbus was also a brutal imperialist and mass murderer. He enslaved the native inhabitants of the Carribean islands he found; he engaged in mass murder; he trafficked in prepubsecent girls for the sexual gratification of his men. We in the United States have all been raised with a deeply Eurocentric narrative that posits Columbus as the "discoverer" of the Americas -- forgetting not only the Vikings, but the actual Native American nations -- and which utterly ignores his crimes against humanity.

To me, part of not being Eurocentric is recognizing historical narratives that are used to glorify and/or justify historical political leaders who engaged in acts of cruelty and oppression -- and learning not to perpetuate those narratives.
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Old October 26 2013, 11:25 PM   #129
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

KRAD wrote: View Post
(I also can't believe it took until Enterprise's fourth season to cast James Avery as a Klingon. That's a no-brainer right there....)
Am I the only one who thinks it's a shame they've never cast James Earl Jones as a Klingon?
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Old October 26 2013, 11:55 PM   #130
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

JD wrote: View Post
Am I the only one who thinks it's a shame they've never cast James Earl Jones as a Klingon?
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Old October 27 2013, 12:10 AM   #131
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

JD wrote: View Post
Am I the only one who thinks it's a shame they've never cast James Earl Jones as a Klingon?
I think he'd make a better Vulcan. Or maybe a Cardassian legate. Or, heck, he'd be a natural for a Starfleet admiral, or maybe UFP president.

Jones was actually considered for the role of Sisko.

http://www.startrek.com/article/did-...ek-star-part-1
We’ve heard over the years that James Earl Jones was on the radar to play Sisko…

Surma: He was on the wish list. Of course, who wouldn’t want James Earl Jones? That was a big wish. But was he going to tie himself down to a series for seven years? The ultimate answer was no. So that came and went quite quickly, although I tried talking to his representatives. “You sure?” Because you never give up on the wish list until it’s too late.
(Wow, and Bruce Greenwood auditioned for Sisko too!)
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Old October 27 2013, 02:38 AM   #132
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post
KRAD wrote: View Post
Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post
black males as Klingons.
Actually, very few black males have played male Klingons. In fact, Michael Dorn was the first black person to play a Klingon, having been preceded by a mess'a white folks: John Colicos, William Campbell, Tige Andrews, Michael Ansara, Susan Howard, Mark Lenard, Christopher Lloyd, John Larroquette, John Schuck, etc.

Since TNG's debut, we've had Dorn, Peter Parros, Tony Todd, Reg E. Cathey, James Worthy, John Cothran Jr., Rick Worthy, Tiny Lister, Terrell Tilford, and James Avery, who are all African-American, but we've also had the very white Vaughn Armstrong, Charles Hyman, David Froman, Suzie Plakson, Brian Thompson, Christopher Collins, Patrick Massett, Charles Cooper, Thelma Lee, Todd Bryant, Spice Williams, David Warner, Christopher Plummer, Robert O'Reilly, Stephen Root, Henry Woronicz, J.G. Hertzler, Brian Bonsall, Marc Worden, Larry Dobkin, Edward Wiley, Shannon Cochran, David Graf, Sandra Nelson, Daniel Riordan, Peter Henry Schroeder, Dan Desmond, John Vickery, Kristin Bauer, Wayne Grace, etc.
My point was: The few black males that have been on the show, primarily during the Berman era, usually were portraying Klingons...or some alien with heavy make-up. (Or in LaForge's case, something covering their face). Avery Brooks and Cirroc Lofton broke that trend, but - on the other hand - they were both primarily depicted as having romantic relationships with primarily black women or alien characters portrayed by black women...in this supposedly evolved future where everyone is equal. Meanwhile, Colm Meaney is opposite Rosalind Chao as Miles and Keiko O'Brien, respectively, and their relationship is treated as a casual relationship, as is usually the case with white men opposite Asian women in American media.

While getting together my drafts for some articles I'm writing for a website - on Star Trek and race (particularly that inaccurate 'first interracial kiss'), Pacific Rim and race, Cloud Atlas and race - I was asking if the Berman era had the balls to have a strong black male lead in a series-long relationship with a non-black female(e.g. white or Asian female, or white/Asian female?) ...without calling attention their race. I think not. Since Michael Dorn was in heavy make-up, looking like a cross between a turtle and a dog, it was easier to write and show him in relationships with characters portrayed by white females.
Did you really think Miles and Keiko relationship was casual? I believe their relationship was one of the few 'realistic' ones in Star Trek. I don't know where all the Keiko hate comes from but to me they seemed committed to each other when they had to put up with a lot of hard separations and still returned to each other in the end. I find it amazing that people say how 'romantic' T'Pol and Trip were but their 'relationship' IMO was very casual.

I'll get on my high-horse now on women in the Bergman era. There weren't any female 'humans' in command positions as regulars in TNG, VOY or DS9 or ENT with the exception of Janeway and Yar(I know she's not from Earth but I'm going to count her but I'm not going to count Hoshi as she was really a civilian). Every other woman in a position of power had to be an alien. Just saying. Of course TOS was no better.

Sorry to put the thread further off track.


Realistically if we were populating a Starship with proportional Earth population at the moment more than half would be Asian/Indian. In the future though with China's one child policy maybe the proportions will be different. The Eugenics war must be the explanation. Maybe there's no Australia or New Zealand in Star Trek. Maybe those 'supermen' blew those countries up. I mean we haven't ever seen anyone from those countries in 30 seasons of Star Trek and 12 movies
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Old October 27 2013, 02:51 AM   #133
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Well, Beverly Crusher was a "command officer" in that she had bridge officer certification and was able to take the conn. It seemed for a while she was actually gamma shift commander in TNG. (Then she's also "Captain Picard" in All Good Things...)
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Old October 27 2013, 03:02 AM   #134
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
Well, Beverly Crusher was a "command officer" in that she had bridge officer certification and was able to take the conn. It seemed for a while she was actually gamma shift commander in TNG. (Then she's also "Captain Picard" in All Good Things...)
I thought they tried at the end of TNG for a bit of equality with Crusher and Troi but it was all seemed a little forced to me. Crusher and Troi would still hide behind Picard and Riker in 'away missions'
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Old October 27 2013, 03:08 AM   #135
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post
Meanwhile, Colm Meaney is opposite Rosalind Chao as Miles and Keiko O'Brien, respectively, and their relationship is treated as a casual relationship, as is usually the case with white men opposite Asian women in American media.
Uh, they were married. How exactly is that a "casual" relationship?

RandyS wrote: View Post
They couldn't have done that in Sisko's case anyway. I don't remember where I heard (or read) this, but Avery Brooks reportedly inisted that any romance Sisko had be with a black woman, so a black actress was required. Which, presumably, is how Penny Johnson got hired.
Huh, I didn't know that. I always kind of assumed that they hired a black actress to play Sisko's alien love interest in Second Sight because the producers were "playing it safe" or something... I didn't realize this might have been something Brooks insisted upon. (And to be fair, her husband was played by a white actor... but Seyetik wasn't a series regular, either.)

Sci wrote: View Post
Another example would be Christopher Columbus. For all his accomplishments as a seafarer and an explorer, and for all of his influence on history, the fact remains that Christopher Columbus was also a brutal imperialist and mass murderer. He enslaved the native inhabitants of the Carribean islands he found; he engaged in mass murder; he trafficked in prepubsecent girls for the sexual gratification of his men. We in the United States have all been raised with a deeply Eurocentric narrative that posits Columbus as the "discoverer" of the Americas -- forgetting not only the Vikings, but the actual Native American nations -- and which utterly ignores his crimes against humanity.
And Starfleet appears to have no problem with naming shuttles after Columbus, so maybe they're not as strict on this kind of thing as you would prefer. Although, I guess you could say the shuttle was named after the city in Ohio! (Although, to be honest, I don't really understand why they would have a USS Cortez either.)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Jones was actually considered for the role of Sisko.
"THIS... is DS9."
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