When Gene Roddenberry invented Star Trek in 1964, which ended up airing for the first time in 1966, he may not have known his small-screen sci-fi show would inspire six follow-up television shows and more than a dozen films. Nor did he likely foresee that fans of the original series and its subsequent iterations would become a force unto themselves, essentially inventing fandom as we now know it. One thing he did know: Star Trek was always meant to be progressive. In its idealism, in its political agenda, in its social commentary, and most definitely in its diverse representation. But a few "fans" of the series have recently lost sight of this.
CBS All Access is gearing up for their September 24 debut of Star Trek: Discovery and a slew of Internet trolls have started to state their objections with the new show. Namely, that there aren't nearly enough white people. Forget that white actors have historically and continuously made up the vast majority of roles on television. The show's creators and cast have responded in turn to these surreal allegations.
Gene Roddenberry Created Star Trek With Diversity As A Priority
Despite the TV network's hesitancies, one thing Roddenberry insisted on when he started to cast Star Trek was that the crew members of the Starship Enterprise had to be racially diverse. How could altruistic humans spread messages of egalitarianism throughout the universe if their own species couldn't get along internally?
The Original Series's cast included a Japanese man, Lt. Sulu (George Takei), and a black woman, Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), among its starring roles. Additionally, the show featured a Russian character at the height of Cold War tensions and was the first to show an interracial kiss onscreen between two characters, Captain Kirk and Lt. Uhura. Later on, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine would star Avery Brooks as the first black captain and Star Trek: Voyager would have a female captain, Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew).
The franchise has even been open-minded in its themes on sexuality. Inter-species relationships are common and same sex relationships have been explored through the lens of alien species who find nothing taboo about them. In Star Trek Beyond, Sulu is portrayed as openly gay with a partner he's raising a child with.
So-Called "Fans" Complain Star Trek: Discovery Adheres To A Liberal Agenda
One could certainly argue that anyone complaining about an overabundance of diversity on Star Trek: Discovery is rather missing the point of the franchise. Yet multiple people have voiced their "concerns" online.
Star Trek Discovery: The only white males are a Vulcan a-hole and a wimpy helmsman. This show appears to be fully SJW converged.— LubertDas (@lubertdas) May 18, 2017
So, the new Star Trek: Discovery series looks like boring SJW trash. Basically the NuTrek movies with a low-ranking token white guy.— Douglas (@DesScorp) May 21, 2017
These "fans" of the franchise seem to believe CBS All Access has fallen victim to a liberal perspective, stating the show's executives embrace SJW ideals by casting so few white actors. SJW stands for social justice warriors, a strangely derogatory term used to indicate a person who prioritizes equality over privilege in race, sexuality, gender, and wealth.
The Star Trek: Discovery Cast Is Not Here For This Ish
Sonequa Martin-Green, the star of the new Star Trek series, shared her thoughts for those who think Discovery is sacrificing quality for liberal propaganda. She told Entertainment Weekly,
“[Diversity is] something Star Trek has always upheld and I completely believe that is why it’s been a mainstay in society in the hearts of so many people for so many decades. I would encourage them to look past their opinions and social conditioning and key into what we’re doing here — which is telling a story about humanity that will hopefully bring us all together.”
She is quick to point out that diveristy is one of the "foundational principles of Star Trek" and that viewers who don't realize that "miss the legacy itself." Former Star Trek star George Takei was even more eloquent in his public response saying, “Today in this society we have alien life forms that we call trolls. And these trolls carry on without knowing what they’re talking about and knowing even less about the history of what they’re talking about.” Sick (taser) burn, Takei.