"First Contact" - The rape of Riker

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Ragitsu, Jun 26, 2022.

  1. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    With the recent passage of Nichelle Nichols, "The Kiss" has gotten a lot of airplay, but what hasn't gotten even a mention in any forum I've heard is that the kiss was coerced. It was, in essence, a sexual assault, on both Uhura and Kirk, as he would not willingly engage in such conduct in such a circumstance. (Although, Kirk's behavior with the slave girl in "Bread and Circuses" was morally questionable.)
     
  2. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah i never understood why people praise that moment so much as the "first interracial kiss on American TV" when it was really a moment that was forced on both characters by aliens. It also apparently wasn't the first interracial kiss on American TV either, but more like the first that got public attention.
    It's also weird that they went that route, from what I remember of TOS, it's frequently made clear that many character think of Uhura as a very attractive woman (as she was) so a voluntary kiss could definitely have been scripted. Or else have her kiss a guest star.
     
  3. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I wasn't alive at the time, but I imagine that for the Average Joe the big deal was "interracial kiss!!!" and that they weren't interested in the circumstances, especially if they were just seeing a still photo or reading about it in the news bereft of wider context. But I imagine TPTB might have figured (rightly or wrongly) that they wouldn't be permitted to show it unless they could argue that it was something forced upon the characters.
     
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  4. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I mean yeah you're probably right, but still over the years I, personally have come to the opinion that the best kind of presentation is the kind that makes no big deal of the thing it represents, but shows it as "ordinary".

    So my favourite version of that kiss would have been Uhura and some random, white crewman kissing while on a date (and maybe after the kiss have the date being interrupted by Uhura being summoned to the bridge) without even commenting on it at all. Or show a brief shot of them kissing during a scene that shows the crew at leisure on some planet.
     
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  5. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree that the approach isn't optimal. What I don't know was whether it was the best that they felt they could get away with at the time.

    Just like how portrayals of any other minority have started out 'safe' and only gradually evolved toward 'good'.
     
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  6. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I mean I get your point, & don't disagree, but...
    There's a level of context here that's almost unfathomable to people now. This was a time when to even have skin to skin contact with one another, when in many places in America there was segregation of water taps, toilets, eatery seating etc... For that very reason, that white people would rather burn their clothes if a black person shared the same seat. It was unconscionable what Shatner & Nichols were doing. Forget about the context of the character interaction. No one even thought about that shit.

    That the actors did what they did, & then it was aired nationwide was unthinkable to many, if not most. In our world today, that even still has significant racism to battle, endure & overcome, fortunately THAT level of racism is almost entirely extinct & even maybe unthinkable to us who've never been personal witnesses to it.

    We all rightfully celebrate the progress of seeing Uhura depicted as an intelligent professional & equal to her peers on that show, but the ugly truth was so much lowlier than that. It was still a world where she'd have been seen by many as subhuman, & contaminated.

    Even if it wasn't perfect. Even if it wasn't the 1st... We should still herald its remarkable existence for just that, existing at all then, IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022
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  7. Crazy 4 XmasLights

    Crazy 4 XmasLights Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sad but true. Most of us were blessed to grow up in a world where racism of that type was unthinkable. A kid of today would be confused at why there would be seperate seating sections and drinking fountains for whites and blacks, but it was a sad reality back then.
     
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  8. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

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    Born in 1946, I remember whites-only signs, water fountains, even Woolworth’s counters. I also remember the stink it raised when desegregation became national law. It was “normal” to me at the time and my child mind wasn’t ready to object.
     
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  9. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm 51. My mother was born in 1937, & I have vivid memories of her being unwilling to go in a public pool if there were black people, or a restroom. She had detailed to me the entirety of the thinking of the society she grew up in. It was considered the same as sharing a feeding bowl with the livestock.

    And she wasn't from the southern U.S either. She was raised in rural Pennsylvania to my recollection. The whole of America was rampant with this sentiment. It was the accepted norm, even still in the 60s.
     
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  10. Rudolph the Redshirt Reindeer

    Rudolph the Redshirt Reindeer That Guy Premium Member

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    My parents were both from Pittsburgh, and my mother (who was born the same year as yours) has describe Pennsylvania as being "Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Georgia in between".
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Snagglepussed Premium Member

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    @Harvey and I have for years been pointing out that the Kirk-Uhura "kiss" is nothing of the kind; it's an act of battery as they're being physically forced into doing it. Six weeks later on NY Eve Robert Wagner gave Denise Nicholas a quick farewell kiss on It Takes A Thief to apparently zero controversy. It seems the networks were more worried about it than the audience.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2022
  12. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What else is new? Or, in this case, old?
     
  13. Arpy

    Arpy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But were they inspired by the Star Trek kiss, including the publicity it got?

    I agree with what was said upthread about it not mattering that it was a forced kiss given that the aliens weren’t real. No one forced the actors to do the kiss or the series to show it. It was a transgressive choice in a far more bigoted time. Good for them.
     
  14. Maurice

    Maurice Snagglepussed Premium Member

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    No. Because shows don’t turn around that fast. By the time “Plato’s” aired that It Takes A Thief segment was probably long since scripted and likely shot.

    Also, what publicity did “Plato’s” get? Aside from some small box ads placed in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter I’ve never seen anything much contemporaneous about it at all, except Variety’s review calling the show out for trying to have its cake and eat it, too.
     
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  15. Arpy

    Arpy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They were churning out new Star Trek in what 2-3 weeks? Throwing in a kiss is nothing.
    There you go. Bad press is still press. Joe Rogan gained millions of new followers when the media went after him. Plus, you don't think every kid in school the next day was talking about an interracial kiss on TV in 1966? Dude, we'd tell each other Johnny Carson jokes at lunch time, and he aired after most of us were asleep.
     
  16. Serveaux

    Serveaux Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    No, you're just off-base here and attempting to carry on the debate with fact-free speculation and rhetoric.
     
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  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Lol, no. The post production pipeline took much longer than that. If an episode went from filming to answer print in six weeks it would've been an incredible rush and an outlier.
     
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  18. Captain Kris Kringle Pike

    Captain Kris Kringle Pike Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Way better look than what Star Trek did.
     
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  19. Maurice

    Maurice Snagglepussed Premium Member

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    N-ope. @Harvey has it right.

    Tiny box ads and a review in the trades, seen only by industry people, hardly qualifies as "press". And any familiarity with Variety shows you that agents and producers are constantly dropping ads in to get some attention, and little of it works.

    We've scoured non-trades newspapers looking for mentions of the kiss controversy and pretty much come up empty handed.

    And "Dude" you are just inventing this supposed playground chatter. We look at documentary evidence...you're just speculating.

    P.S. No playground talk the next day cuz Trek was airing Friday nights at 10pm. :D
     
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  20. Arpy

    Arpy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Uhhh, what? What debate? You guys seem really touchy over this. Have you had a pet theory for a long time and snap at anyone who wonders if it isn’t accurate, or have you professionally researched the subject, know it to be a certain way…then still seem touchy about it on an online bulletin board?

    And yeah, back in the day people talked about stuff the next day and in the days after, like, in person with people they knew in real life, and that’s how word spread too. I don’t get how that’s a strange concept to I’m assuming old timers like me.