Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Hatter76, Jan 27, 2020.
It's the one thing I didn't like about the episode.
How xenophobic of them to kill off an alien character first! This is the damn 24th century!
(back on topic, I do see the similarities)
Anyone else grossed out by BF's hair lumps?
I mean, I get exactly what the designers were trying to do, and intellectually it was clever. It's just the most off-putting makeup since the Skreeans.
So the only way to avoid it is to make sure that no matter what, a black person isn't allowed to be cast in the role that dies first?
"Hi, my name is David Carzell. I'll be reading for the part of Dahj's boyfriend."
"Oh sorry, don't even bother. We're not hiring black people for that part."
Yeah, that'll work.
I noticed it, but just assumed I was been subconsciously racist and dismissed it.
I think if you look at the waistcoat designs, yeah, there's design grabs.
And yes, this is the real world, if they'd chosen a white guy for the role he'd probably have looked like Poe Dameron. Studios do that sort of thing all the time, Doctor Who is famous for it.
And please, this is the 21st century, some people have dark skin, some people have light skin. It's not racist to notice.
if it was merely the fact that he was black, and that's why someone sees a resemblance, that's where it becomes racist, but being black combine, with similar facial structure, with they styling of his hair, and the outfit he's wearing, that's where there is a resemblance beginning, at least the one that I saw, was made up of those multiple factors, I mean the vest he's wearing does bare a bit more than a just a passing resemblance, as well as the shirt he has on beneath it, I mean those things don't look 100% the same, but they look like they could have come from the same production and production design, those things bear a legit resemblance, it's when these multiple things start getting combined that I feel it's just a bit Uncanny, to the point that if I squint my eyes, I could say "Finn?" but of course when genuinely looking at him, it's obviously not John Boyega.
My Dad is half Native American, he has dark skin, my sister who is the same amount of white and Native as I am is the one of us that actually looks native, I grew up with Kids at school telling me I was adopted because my Skin was white, but my Dad and My sister's Skin was not, for years I couldn't understand what the big deal was(because their my family, there isn't a big deal), large portion of my Family is Native American, mixed with Hispanic, African American, my Nephew is half black, a lot of variety in my family, I happened to come out colored like my Mom, but there is no Racism in my life, there is no room for it, there never has been. So to me this Racist thing is BS(on my end) ..
Hatter76, you weren't racist at all, it was a valid spot. Throughout human history there have always been people ready to cry "Witch! Burn the witch!" at every available opportunity. Most of them have really tiny.....
I thought he was cute and sweet. I hate that he died, and yeah, "why did the black guy have to die first?" briefly entered my thoughts as I watched.
Didn't even think of the black guy trope. Did think of this trope:
(shamelessly stolen from FB)
I thought he acted and spoke a little too much like typical 21st-century humans. Maybe he's lived on Earth all his life. And watched 21st-century TV shows.
I don't see how it's much of a problem, though. I love TOS but how they speak is clearly from the 1960s, right down to Kirk and his reference to "Bones." You might have called a doctor a sawbones in the 1960s, but you don't hear it anywhere today, and I doubt it will make a comeback 250 years from now. There are styles of speech that annoy me, like speaking to someone as if you're standing in the center of a wrestling ring giving your ultimatum to your opponent, but otherwise I can deal with the modern way of speaking, because it's being played to a 21st century mass audience.
To bring the conversation full circle: he probably watched Star Wars and got his slang and style from there.
(Any similarity didn't cross my mind when I watched the episode, though.)
Well yes, not just full circle to Star Wars, but to Finn, who for some reason behaved completely like a 21st century Earth human, and nothing at all like the brain-washed from childhood stormtrooper he was supposed to be.
It stood out more because the character isn't human.
Sure, but how many aliens do you know who are looking for good acting roles?
Yep like Spock from TOS S1 - The Corbomite Manuever (the first regular episode actually filmed) in the following exchange:
Hell, I doubt many today still know what Flypaper is or still use it, let alone anyone in the mid 23rd century. But if you want to get people to empathize with your characters they need to be relatable to the audience of the time/era the episode is being produced in.
Exactly. It's one of the reasons I didn't mind that the 2009 Trek movie redefined "Bones" (and did it in such a great McCoy way, IMO. Have I mentioned I love Karl Urban?). People need to make connections. If they're not making connections, the meaning of the dialogue just kind of fizzles out.
Well... the local Lowe's and Home Depot in my area always have a good amount of flypaper rolls in stock, and anybody who has dealt with pests at home has probably at least come across the stuff as an option for pesky bugs.
I have not seen this episode myself but I've gorged on spoilers and when I saw that the boyfriend was played by a black actor, and he was murdered, I did get a feeling of here we go again. Some in the media made great hay, and rightly so, with Hanelle Culpepper being the first black female director for a Star Trek premiere and an episode period. But then the episode itself falls back on a tired stereotype, one so obvious that it's become parody. So it's like a big step forward, but then another step back. Sci-fi novelist Steven Barnes (who wrote Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Far Beyond the Stars novelization) has written extensively over the years on the depiction of black males particularly in genre works and I was recently reading a good summation of his thinking in a Medium article.
Personally I would rather not have black actors cast if they are going to be just going to keep stereotypes going, if they reinforce the disposability of black life (as represented by poorly or underdeveloped/undeveloped characters who mean nothing ultimately to the entire plot. I was turned off by this happening again in the otherwise decent film
Underwater, but even there, that film did find a way to use the sacrificial character's actions to influence Kristen Stewart's main character at the end
). It remains to be seen if that will be the same here, though with this guy not even given a name I doubt it.
Some might say that he's not black, he's Xahean, but I see those arguments being a dodge, an attempt to be too clever, or a willful ignoring that he's clearly a black actor with forehead prostheses, and that his blackness does not make him immune from this black guy dies first trope. Some might then say well other characters of different races die too (
including Dahj in a shocking twist here
), or that the black characters might not die first or later in the film, and some actually survive (I still remember being shocked that LL Cool J survived both H20 and Deep Blue Sea; I really thought he was a goner in Deep Blue Sea. My shock stemmed from the fact that black characters have been killed off so easily and readily that to see one survive-at that time-and to some extent even now-was surprising to me), and other characters, with actors played by a variety of races/ethnicities, also are killed off, but how many with the regularity of black characters? If a white character is used as a red shirt (and Trek has been replete with these kind of characters) it doesn't mean that there aren't other white characters also on the series/episode to soften or countenance the loss of that character and any perspective or representation they might bring to the series.
Certainly compared to white characters, where we get all kinds of development, characterization, and depictions. Hollywood is still lagging behind in casting Latinos, Asians, and others, so they haven't been in enough movies and television shows to get the die first stereotype, though there are other racial/ethnic stereotypes (not only for black characters) but for other non-white characters as well. And some white characters too if you consider Italian/Italian-Americans. (Let me add, that diversity is still an issue when it comes to black actors/characters in Hollywood as well, but to some extent seeing black actors on a film or television is more common, in my anecdotal experience, than it is seeing Asians, Latinos, etc. to the point where they could get the die first stereotype; I've seen some old articles about the numbers when it comes to diversity in Hollywood that shed more light on how many roles Latinos, and perhaps Asians as well, get in Hollywood, but I don't digging for those right now, so I'll stick with the anecdotal, the stuff I've seen with my own eyes).
Some might also feel that casting a black actor to be the short-lived love interest for Dahj was progressive, and for some that is the case, but then how the character was treated was regressive, so what's the point? It just becomes empty symbolism that reinforces retrograde thinking underneath.
The larger point for me about this sad trope is that enough black characters, particularly in mainstream genre works, still have not crossed the hurdle enough that they given full humanity and made three-dimensional, and that we have enough of those kind of characters that a black red shirt (like Dahj's boyfriend) doesn't matter that much. As it stands, it still does, and I don't think anyone should feel bad, guilty, or crazy for pointing it out.
I think it's hard for some to contend with the idea that Star Trek has at times not met the lofty goals and ideals of the Federation it created. It was a show created largely by white men in the 20th century and now by white men in the 21st century (though throughout the franchises' history there have been white women and some other non-whites who have been involved, and there seems to be more inclusion in the creative process for CBS All Access Trek, to be fair here). I think some fans want to act like that because intraspecies racism doesn't exist on Earth in the 23rd and 24th centuries on Trek that we have achieved it in the making of the franchises' series and movies, while ignoring that Hollywood still has a diversity/inclusion problem, and Star Trek as a Hollywood franchise, despite some good efforts, is not immune from that. So, the black guys first stereotype is not something unimaginable coming from a Hollywood writing room. We have gotten commendable diversity at times with Trek, but all too often it is a white person's idea of what diversity is or should look like. Sometimes that can very aware (DS9: Far Beyond the Stars) and other times not (TNG: Code of Honor).
What is still unimaginable much too often is doing the opposite, investing black characters, in this case, a black male character with some dimensionality. We haven't gotten such a depiction of a black male character really since Tuvok and Sisko. Mayweather was very underdeveloped. The record when it came to black female characters has been even more abysmal. Discovery made a great step in making Michael Burnham the lead and have been catching it ever since from some corners of fandom.
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