"Plato's Stepchildren:" Kirk-Uhura Rape Scene?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Danger Ace, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    From what I recall, she had been through a lot and I think giving her something in the first film was an act of charity. It may have been done for PR reasons or as a way of making up for her dismissal decades prior or it could have been done as a sincere act of niceness. I think GR had a lot of faults but I would also like to believe he was not some hand wringing cartoon villian - that he was capable of some heart-felt acts of kindness.
     
  2. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    Having Whitney in the film makes sense for the most part. She was one of nine major recurring players.....regulars or day players notwithstanding. (Only Mr. Kyle failed to show for TMP.) She preceded Chapel and Chekov.

    Demographics weren't as prevalent or calculated in 1979 as they are today. Why would GLW object to Nichelle Nichols' inclusion when she was virtually present from first to last aired episode? GLW appeared in exactly eight.

    I read from one of GLW's accounts that Robert Wise seemed to shoot her in unflattering light in retaliation for some unintentional faux pas on her part. I don't remember what ''warranted'' this lighting.

    And I fear that Roddenberry WAS the unnamed Executive in her autobiography, partially since Gene Coon hadn't the notorious rep Roddenberry had in ''romantic'' matters.
     
  3. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think she has more than one as I vaguely recall her saying that her 'kids' were in Miri but her son Scott is an extra in TMP too - I think he was the Vulcan nurse on the Rec Deck.

    The intention was for Grace to be a recurring guest on the Phase 2 series so she appears in some of the promotional shots and she's with the main characters on the Rec Deck. It's a shame they didn't give her another scene outside the transporter room where she got to do something though. I believe the story is that she play-acted a trashy dolled up secretary when he first arrived and he didn't allow her to wear any glamour make-up in her scenes but I still think she looked good for a woman pushing fifty.

    I also rather like that the women in TOS were not the glossy replicants we often see on TV today. They can't all have been shagging Gene surely?

    In the UK we were not so anally retentive about race relations and I think we showed interracial relationships on TV years before Trek did. It's really hard for us to comprehend just how backwards the USA was in the sixties, especially when you compare it to apartheid in South Africa. I don't think kissing Uhura had the same symbolism over here as it had in the USA... or would have had if they had shown it!
     
  4. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, that was "Wonder-Gran Meets Dracula."

    To your other point:


    The most important point of the thread. Story did not matter to the audience--it was all about the lips of a white man kissing that of a black woman during one of the most racially exposive periods of the 20th century.
     
  5. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    His reputation notwithstanding, Gene Coon wasn't a part of the program when the assault occurred. It wasn't him.
     
  6. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    "Ned Kelly's Son" has quite a long scene, mostly from the rear, it's on youtube. Saw it on the local station not long ago. I thought i dreamt seeing it as a kid. :)
     
  7. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    Harvey: ''His reputation notwithstanding, Gene Coon wasn't a part of the program when the assault occurred. It wasn't him.''

    Agreed. Not to imply it was ever Coon. Do you also believe it was Roddenberry?
     
  8. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I think it is probable, but only Whitney, Nimoy, and the assailant (if he is still alive) know the executive's identity. A former poster on this forum, Vance, claimed that fans had figured out the executive's identity -- and that it was not Roddenberry -- but I don't believe he ever said who.
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In her bio Nichelle Nichols mentions a studio higher up who tried to coerce her into sex in his office and she writes that she screamed at him and stormed out. It's not impossible this was the same guy that Grace wrote about. But as so many stories have changed and been embellished in the past 47 years it's unlikely the truth will ever be clear.

    All that said, a year ago I got to take Grace Lee to lunch and she was a total delight to talk to.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  10. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Awww - I love Grace and Rand! I've been nagging IDW to use her character more in the ongoing comic since the beginning. I also made a custom action figure and gave Rand a larger role in my Star Trek Youtube comic. Go Grace :cool:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    Does this mean that GLW informed Nimoy about the incident? (No other co-stars?) So much time's passed I only remember the incident itself from her book.
     
  12. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I'm interested in that answer, too.

    How would HE know and no one else?
     
  13. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't. Nichelle Nichols was sexually harrassed as well - in her case it was by a low-mid level NBC executive. Maybe the same guy tried it on Grace Lee. In any case, I am loathe to judge anyone guilty without due process.

    Also, there have been various reasons given for GLW's release from TOS. It has been said her demons had made her unreliable. Some say it was because of budget. Some say it was because the Rand character just plainly didn't serve any purpose. I have never heard she was let go because she didn't submit to Roddenberry's sexual demands (if any had been made) - and she could have probably made a lot of money from such claims.
     
  14. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    Coon was also battling the illness that took his life, IIRC, as well as writing scripts (he would be reunited with the love of his life just in time to spend only a few years together.)
     
  15. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't think any of us are in any place to judge GLW's state of mind then or now but I suspect that making any kind of allegation against anybody after so many years when there was only her word as to what happened would not have been a wise move whether she wanted to or not and I'm not sure that she believes that there would be anything to be gained from it for her personally.

    The early episodes were on CBS action last month and they are of higher quality than many of the later shows, with more attention paid to ensemble character development. If you watch the Rand episodes in order, there is a fair amount of development going on but I think the mistake was bringing too much of her and Kirk to the fore too quickly and not giving her anything significant to do beyond that role. Her presence as the sociable female lead would have given Sulu and Uhura more chance to develop and she was also meant to be friends with Mr Spock. You can see lots of ways the character could have been used but you can also see, given how sexist TV was in the sixties and the way they moved to less emphasis on the supporting cast why, alongside other issues such as budget, a drinking problem, and a disgruntled executive her situation led where it did.

    The ongoing IDW comic has gone the other way - placing Rand in the role of a security guard but totally overlooking the fact that she's a yeoman and giving her any admin duties that place her in Kirk's vicinity as his assistant where she might contribute in other ways. I've always thought the character was a gold mine. She was the everyman who could ask dumb questions to help out the audience unfamiliar with sci fi concepts, she could be the damsel in distress or if treated like a starfleet officer (although given Troi's treatment that would not have happened until after 1995) she could have saved the day. I've always found it strange that writers have never really treated the character with any respect. I'm going to rehabilitate the character into the 21st century if it kills me!
     
  16. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The answer to that is in Whitney's memoir, which (unfortunately) I don't have on hand to quote from. My copy is in another state.
     
  17. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    Thank you, Harvey.

    I see it now, I was worried he was involved somehow and I'm happy he wasn't.
     
  18. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Google "The Full Body Project" and you get a view of Leonard Nimoy's compassionate nature.

    I read an artist’s photography blog that Nimoy commented on (or was it another art) and he was encouraging to the artist –(of course, she had no clue who he was) but it led me to look at is pictures and read his photographic intent. I can see he only wants women to feel good about themselves.

    I can’t help speculate if Leonard Nimoy's art is atonement for guilt; did he give advice to Grace Lee Whitney that in retrospect haunts him?
     
  19. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Networks were subject to Broadcast Standards and Practices and I've come to realize the "rape" aspect was just the writer's attempt to appease and avoid censorship of an interracial relationship. After all, these popular characters were not going against 60's societal norms, they were being forced against their own wills


    Ergo, the "rape" responsibility was never theirs but their mind controllers
     
  20. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    I stated that in my post. I said Kirk was just as much a victim as Uhura thereby placing the full responsibility on the Platonions.

    And in skirting Standards & Practices those in-charge undermined their own efforts. "Free will" is everything in something like this and without it you cannot claim any social victory. Did african-americans sit at home and view that scene as a sign of social progress? Did african-american women? Did women in general? Whose cause was forwarded by that? It sure wasn't any civil-rights victory.

    The meaning attached to the Kirk-Uhura kiss was always and will always be a sad grab for PR and contrived relevance. Which is shame because of all the other real contributions it gave us.

    I mean: Uhura's presence was a positive for millions, no-doubt about that. As was George Takei's appearances. TOS championed a lot of progressive ideas, but let us be honest about it so as not to diminish them is my point.