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

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

  1. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think many like minded did see this scene as a sign of progress, and not because of their race but because of the time.

    I think it would be very telling to read the 60's news headlines (when the piece was written, not broadcast) to better understand the writer's POV.


    Yes, I understood your point that it was neither's responsibility
     
  2. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    You make a very good distinction and I find your take very interesting and well-said.

    I hope others will contribute on this, but the glorification of "the kiss," according to my recollection, didn't really spark much coverage or applause at the time. Plato's Stepchildren was not nominated for any awards (not even a Hugo). The significance of "the kiss" didn't seem to grow until sometime after the show's cancellation. Again, that's how I remember it and I would be the first one to be interested in how other folks recall it.
     
  3. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Nimoy wasn't involved in the incident. Whitney told him about it after the fact, and they were in the room together when the "executive" came by with a polished stone to apologize. That's why he knows the man's identity.

    Didn't mean to imply otherwise.
     
  4. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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  5. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    Why would you or anyone surmise that? The meaning you seem to attache to your supplied quote is an ill-considered stretch as I doubt the spirit of any NAACP award is to reinforce the imagery of an african-american woman "to kiss/be kissed" by anyone against her will.

    The only thing we can "surmise' is that Dolinsky accepted a commission to write a script for "Star Trek" that would please the producers and make himself some money - and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. He was a fine writer who specialised in the science fiction genre.

    The clear purpose of any NAACP award or positive mention would be in recognition and positive affirmation of Nichelle's continued presence on the series overall.
     
  6. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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  7. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    IMHO, the best kiss was not that event, but the kiss in the 2009 movie between Uhura and Spock. Other better moments are the kiss between Odo & Kira, the emotional moment when Trip acknowledges that his beloved sister is dead on Enterprise, and a whole host of others I can't remember now. All of what I've mentioned are way, way better than some forced S&M game concocted by Meyer Dolinsky.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013
  8. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree with the above. Now explain again how an african-american woman being forced to kiss a white man is breaking out of a stereotype? :rolleyes: <-- brilliant use of an emoticon.
     
  9. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I'm sorry, Harvey, you didn't imply that, but I came to the wrong conclusion. I've read the sample text available to the book on amazon and it explained very well that Mr. Nimoy is a caring man and she confided in him. Sorry I thought something else might have been the case. :sigh:



    Maybe this is too off the subject of the OP but I think a better demenstration of racial equality and breaking of stereotypes in Star Trek is in Court Martial when Commodore Stone was bossing Capt. Kirk around as his clear superior. But maybe that isn't dramatic enough.
     
  10. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    That's one of the best ones ever, and really shows what racial equality in an idealized future could be like.
     
  11. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I also shows what every police procedural I ever saw after 1990 looked like. The gruff, no-nonsense chief of detectives, who has to yell at the white stars a lot, is black, almost as reliably as long-tailed tabbies tend to be cats. :lol:
     
  12. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Interesting, your lack of understanding is based on what I think is the only clarion response I gave!

    In retrospect, it is man’s nature to analyze history with an emphasis on 'perfection' but it is just messy. People desiring the purity of change make compromises that are later deemed ‘just wrong’.

    On the face of it “…how an african-american woman being forced to kiss a white man is breaking out of a stereotype?” is such a paradox. Enslavement in the US includes a history of sexual assault against Black women (and likely men too). In my opinion, the forced kiss between Kirk and Uhura was a subtle introduction to the African-American experience.
     
  13. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think that the stronger message of the episode is about disability discrimination, a message that Trek has approached rather limply in recent years. Keenser is treated like a skivvy, because of his comic potential, despite being an officer in NuTrek. Rather ironic.
     
  14. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I see what you did there. ;)
     
  15. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    You're close enough as one of my points has always been that "Star Trek: TOS" is filled with many examples such as the one you put out there, therefore, why propagandize "the kiss?"
     
  16. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Because at the time, it was one thing to see Stone act as Kirk's superior, or Cosby's I Spy character Alexander Scott be the equal of Culp's Kelly Robinson, but romance of any kind between a man and woman of different racial backgrounds was not going to happen anywhere else, particularly since that was (for many Americans) the "forbidden" relation dating back to the slave era.

    Making the kiss the "big, groundbreaking deal" was possible for the reasons posted above, and as long as other series of the period were not going to take that step (ex. The Mod Squad, where the Julie and Linc characters were never written to have romanitc feeling for the other), Star Trek could trumpet their episode forever.

    Pretty close to what happened during the syndication years.
     
  17. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    Except there simply was no "romance" involved in "the kiss." Both Kirk and Uhura were visibly fighting it. No "free will," no credit.

    Also there have always been inter-racial relationships and marriages throughout the US and world history. Sometimes there were problems because of it, sometimes there weren't. Some folks actually didn't care. Then again, even today some can get hard looks.

    Except by making it a forced kiss "Star Trek" didn't truly break any ground or take that step either. It's a case of "The Emperor's New Clothes" with most everyone standing around applauding the non-existent splendorous dressings of a naked man.
     
  18. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    The time and place of the kiss (the US in the 1960s) is what made it "controversial". While there were interracial marriages and relationships, it was also a time of segregation with things like white only water fountains. So a white man and a black woman kissing under any circumstance could be looked upon with disfavor in many circles.

    As I said a above, the image of a white man and a black woman kissing, under any circumstances was seen as controversial. Though, I agree the circumstances aren't as groundbreaking as Kirk and Uhura being romantically involved or if one Kirk's love interests have been played by a black actress.
     
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But was it actually controversial or was it greeted with indifference? I suspect this might be another case of print the myth.
     
  20. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    When "Plato's Stepchildren" first aired, I think Star Trek was on at 10 pm on Friday night. That's a graveyard shift for TV because the desired demographic goes out to movies, parties, bars, etc. Children were in bed and that left older folks, many of whom were already asleep as well.

    That, plus the blink-and-you-missed-it kiss duration, and the fact that many viewers who did tune in probably considered it a deeply lousy episode and didn't stick with it that far into the timeslot, and I would bet that The Kiss didn't cause any stir at all in 1968. The nation was reeling from actual events and would hardly be on pins and needles to see what went down on Star Trek -- in a silly, frequently embarrassing episode, no less.

    Even today, I notice that none of the shows I give a damn about are shown on Friday night.