Why wasn't Worf in Code of Honor?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by The Overlord, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Please tell me where people are considered to be "pink" beyond the old "white people's skin really isn't white it's more of a pink" pedant.
     
  2. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, but these were not black people. They were aliens with dark skin. The only way it's racist is if the episode attempts to make the statement that this behavior is representative of black people in general.

    By that logic, it's offensive to portray white people as tax evaders.

    Ensign Kim was good at math, is that racist? Is Sulu being good at fencing racist?

    It's more racist to cast your roles around fear of being stereotype adjacent and make your characters into the Greendale Human than it is to actually cast your show in a way that rubs up against stereotypes.
     
  3. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    So it's not racist to make a group of black people to act like savages and kidnap a white woman over tribal rites so long as your characters are aliens. Got it.

    So the "Dark on one side, white on the other!" episode from TOS wasn't a commentary on race issues of the era since, hey, these guys were aliens! The episode with the androgynous race in TNG wasn't about sexual orientation issues since the aliens on display were just that, aliens!

    Get real. Trek has always dealt with topical issues by putting aliens on display who're having 20th century issues (that humanity had supposedly out-grown.) When you put on display a culture made up entirely of black people who act like savages it's pretty damn hard to NOT read into it something of a hidden message. Especially when it's known that per the director's orders all of the "aliens" had to black and the production decision to not give them so much as makeup squigglies or dots to make them "more alien" looking.

    They were black people concerned over tribal issues who kidnapped a white woman and mad her perform in a savage game over marital/land rights. It's pretty damn offensive.

    Why wasn't Worf in the episode? As state it's most likely because Worf wasn't much of a character in the first season which had a pretty heavy cast. This episode was also very Tasha-centric so there was little room to focus on anyone but her and other notable bridge crew members. It's also likely there's a bit of "plot convenience" here as it could be seen as things in the episode unlikely would have happened the way they did HAD Worf been around as his presence would have either been redundant to Yar's or negated her completely. (He would have been better at showing off the holodeck, fighting for example which is what piqued the interest of the aliens on Yar in the first place.)
     
  4. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If this alien race is racist because they're all tribal, why isn't Worf a racist character when he's a warrior prone to agression?

    They could have cast some white actors and darkened their skin like they do with some klingons. Then you have a racially diverse cast but you still have a light vs. dark thing. So then you need to remove the tribal aspects, or you just cannot have an entire alien race be dark skinned. I dunno.
     
  5. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's far more racist to say that roles should be cast around making sure no actor even remotely coincides with any stereotype than it is to cast a role in a way that's similar to a stereotype.

    Believe it or not there were tribes with gender attitudes similar to that of all variety of races in Earth history.

    Did Code Of Honor actually leave you with the impression that all black people were savages who kidnapped white women? If it did leave you with that impression it says more about you than the episode. The episode was about a group of aliens with gender cultures similar to thousands of years old gender cultures from all parts of Earth, the fact that they had high melanin content in their skin was incidental.

    I suppose Stargate is racist for portraying Egyptians as worshipping alien parasites.
     
  6. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That makes two of us. 26 years on, and I STILL don't get it.

    Is it because all the guest actors were black? That in itself is not reason enough to call this episode racist.

    Hell, if the guest actors were all white, you can bet we'd be hearing complaints about how the episode was racist BECAUSE of the lack of blacks.
     
  7. USS Excelsior

    USS Excelsior Commodore Commodore

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    They had them acting African with beating those drums, and stuff.
     
  8. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Guys... regardless of if you think the episode is just racist or just stupid or some combination thereof, it's not worth all this debate. You don't have to closely examine every feature, feel the texture and sniff it to know a piece of shit stinks. ;)
     
  9. Borjis

    Borjis Commodore Commodore

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  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Take a look at what exactly?

    Though I do find this quote funny:

    Would have been? The episode was made on Gene's watch! :guffaw:
     
  11. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The beard was cutting off circulation to his memory? ;)
     
  12. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    To Gene's credit, Gene fired the director of "Code of Honor" (who was responsible for the Ligonians race being cast entirely from African-American actors) during production and let Les Landau complete the episode.;)
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, but Gene signed off on the casting in the first place. :lol:
     
  14. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    But how was Gene suppose to know a director is racist until the episode comes out?:shrug:
     
  15. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    That's not really the point, though. It's not the inclusion or exclusion of black actors which strikes people as racist, it's black actors doing stereotypically black things. And whether you and I like it or not, a black man lusting after and kidnapping a white woman, a widespread and constant fear among whites, especially southern whites, for many, many years (and even among some people today), does indeed have racist connotations.

    Of course, racism is subjective, and I'm sure there are black people who never found "CoH" racist, or simply weren't bothered by the stereotypes... but the defense that "it's not racist if you make the actors white" is pure nonsense. That's tantamount to saying, "it can't be racist, because if I made it not racist it wouldn't be racist anymore." Well, duh. Of course if you used a white actor doing a stereotypically black it wouldn't appear racist anymore. If "Birth of a Nation" had featured scenes in which whites ate fried chicken and watermelon, people probably wouldn't have cried racism. But the point is they were black actors, they were acting out blatant stereotypes, and it was racist.
     
  16. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    The big problem was the director wanting the African tribal culture and all Ligonian race to be played by black actors. The races of the Ligonian actors was never mentioned in the script. If it had been less tribal and if Lutan had perhaps have been played by a white actor, it still would have been a bad episode but I think people would have less problems with it.
     
  17. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    The script apparently designated only 2 guards as black, and the original director went from there. I think there was also mention of behavior that LeVar Burton and some other actors took offense at. I think the guards bit is mentioned at Memory Alpha, but not sure where I read the stuff about Burton.
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They had to have ordered the drums and he had to have seen the costumes that were being designed.

    And since Gene also gave us multiple planets with all white people during his time running TNG, I'm not sure he had a problem with the planet of all black people nor how they were being portrayed.

    It was Gene's show, he was the one in charge and is every bit as responsible for the final product as Russ Mayberry was.
     
  19. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Problem with that is Luzan (sp?) didn't kidmap Yar because he was "lusting after" her, he wanted to malnipulate her into killing his wife.

    :)
     
  20. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not like the concept of a scapegoat is anything new. I don't see it being a stretch at all that Gene was in on this fully and only fired the director when everyone started criticizing the episode.