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View Full Version : MLK convinced Nichelle Nichols to stay on Star Trek


Philip
18th January 2011, 06:42 AM
This was interesting to hear. Martin Luther King was a Star Trek fan and thought it was socially important for Star Trek to have Uhura:
Nichelle Nichols caused a sensation in the 1960s for her role as Lieutenant Uhura in the classic television series, "Star Trek." It was one of the first times a black woman was cast as a main character in a major television show. But Nichols almost quit the show to pursue other dreams. She talks to host Michel Martin about her character's importance during the civil rights movement, and how Martin Luther King Junior convinced her to stay on "Star Trek".
http://www.npr.org/2011/01/17/132942461/Star-Treks-Uhura-Reflects-On-MLK-Encounter

paiute
18th January 2011, 07:05 AM
This was interesting to hear. Martin Luther King was a Star Trek fan and thought it was socially important for Star Trek to have Uhura:


His exact words were: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by their skill at refocussing tachyon beams through a sensor array."

Monketey Ghost
18th January 2011, 07:14 AM
I read this in Shatner's book, where she relates the story. Also of interest is the part where she says, "Now I have to tell you why I hate you, Bill," and goes on to describe how few lines she had in the show, and that **** would sometimes argue with the director that her line "xyz" was unnecessary.

MLK was truly a great man, not the least of reasons being that he kept Uhura alive.


ETA hilarious that the autocensor doesn't like Shatner's shortened last name.

The Shrike
18th January 2011, 07:49 AM
Maybe MLK just had a thing for miniskirts, black hose, and go-go boots. Who doesn't?

Dave Rogers
18th January 2011, 09:00 AM
Maybe MLK just had a thing for miniskirts, black hose, and go-go boots. Who doesn't?

Heck, who doesn't have a thing for Nichelle Nichols in a miniskirt, black hose, and go-go boots?

Dave

alfaniner
18th January 2011, 09:05 AM
Heck, who doesn't have a thing for Nichelle Nichols in a miniskirt, black hose, and go-go boots?

Dave

1960's Uhura definitely, but 1990's? Not so much...

Beerina
18th January 2011, 10:09 AM
1960's Uhura definitely, but 1990's? Not so much...

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RossFW
18th January 2011, 10:48 AM
NOW let's talk Zoe Saldana in the red mini-skirt....:jaw-dropp

ParrotPirate
18th January 2011, 07:43 PM
I'd rather talk her out of it!;)

Gord_in_Toronto
18th January 2011, 07:56 PM
Maybe MLK just had a thing for miniskirts, black hose, and go-go boots. Who doesn't?

From What I Have Read Gene Roddenberry certainly did. ;) ;)

FreshHat
18th January 2011, 08:47 PM
Heck, who doesn't have a thing for Nichelle Nichols in a miniskirt, black hose, and go-go boots?

Dave

The real reason for Dr. McCoy's nickname.

Rrose Selavy
19th January 2011, 07:10 AM
Another bit of (tragic) trivia if you don't already know:


Nichols' brother Thomas was a member of the Heaven's Gate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven%27s_Gate_(cult)) cult; he died on March 26, 1997 in their mass suicide (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_suicide).[15] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nichelle_Nichols#cite_note-14) A member for 11 years, he left an exit video saying "I'm the happiest person in the world."[16] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nichelle_Nichols#cite_note-15)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nichelle_Nichols#Personal_life

Brown
20th January 2011, 06:27 AM
The story has long been told (it predates Shatner's book), yet it seems to have a ring of truth.

When I was growing up and watching first runs of "Star Trek," it never occurred to me that there was anything odd about having bridge officers who were negro, or oriental, or who were from other countries where they had heavy accents. (They guy with the pointy ears, now THAT was odd!)

No one questioned the competence of these officers. Rarely was there any mention of their ancestry. (There were some exceptions. Uhura was referred to once as a "charming negress," a term about which she took no offense. Sulu was once engaged with the words "honorable sir" in a mock Japanese accent, to which Sulu replied, "Is he kidding??" When Scotty was insulted by a Klingon who imitated his accent and then insulted the Enterprise, Scotty punched the Klingon.)

What I did not realize was that this sort of universality was unusual in 1960s-era television. Dr. King easily could have seen that it was a monumental thing that a bridge officer could have dark skin... and no one made a big deal about skin color one way or another! He certainly could have been moved by this new way in race was treated... as something that was not relevant to ability.

Now, on the somewhat related subject of the "first interracial kiss," I remember as a child being very bothered by it, but my discomfort was not related to race. Rather, I was bothered by the fact that the act was coerced and by the fact that Kirk and Uhura were in a professional rather than a personal relationship. It never occurred to me that many adults, who ought to have been upset by these same things, were actually upset by something else: Uhura's skin was darker than Kirk's and therefore (huh?) they should not have been kissing, regardless of the story.

TragicMonkey
21st January 2011, 05:12 AM
Now, on the somewhat related subject of the "first interracial kiss," I remember as a child being very bothered by it, but my discomfort was not related to race. Rather, I was bothered by the fact that the act was coerced and by the fact that Kirk and Uhura were in a professional rather than a personal relationship.

How did you feel about the time Commander Riker made out with Worf? Data erased his own memory of witnessing that, but everybody else had to resort to the dubious therapy abilities of Troi. They ended up having to send Worf to DS9 because the bridge staff was just too tense with unsaid thoughts to function properly.

Brown
21st January 2011, 06:20 AM
How did you feel about the time Commander Riker made out with Worf? Data erased his own memory of witnessing that, but everybody else had to resort to the dubious therapy abilities of Troi. They ended up having to send Worf to DS9 because the bridge staff was just too tense with unsaid thoughts to function properly.I missed that episode.

A P.S. to the "interracial kiss" story: as told on the recent PBS "Pioneers of Television" show, the scene was re-shot without the kiss. But Shatner intentionally ruined the re-shoot by crossing his eyes in a close-up, and by the time this devious act was discovered, it was too late to shoot the scene again. So the show was pretty much forced to go with the scene as shot WITH the kiss.

Noztradamus
21st January 2011, 06:53 AM
I read this in Shatner's book, where she relates the story. Also of interest is the part where she says, "Now I have to tell you why I hate you, Bill," and goes on to describe how few lines she had in the show, and that **** would sometimes argue with the director that her line "xyz" was unnecessary.

~~~~



"Look! I have one job on this lousy ship, it's *stupid*, but I'm gonna do it, okay? "

HansMustermann
21st January 2011, 08:23 AM
1960's Uhura definitely, but 1990's? Not so much...

Ah, I don't know. She still looked decently good for her age.

LarianLeQuella
21st January 2011, 08:28 AM
Now, on the somewhat related subject of the "first interracial kiss," I remember as a child being very bothered by it, but my discomfort was not related to race. Rather, I was bothered by the fact that the act was coerced and by the fact that Kirk and Uhura were in a professional rather than a personal relationship. It never occurred to me that many adults, who ought to have been upset by these same things, were actually upset by something else: Uhura's skin was darker than Kirk's and therefore (huh?) they should not have been kissing, regardless of the story.


I had the same reaction. Although, truth be told, I don't think professional boundaries really wouldn't stop the captain from shagging anyone. ;)

Chaos
21st January 2011, 08:37 AM
I had the same reaction. Although, truth be told, I don't think professional boundaries really wouldn't stop the captain from shagging anyone. ;)

Not THIS captain, in any case.

Chris L
21st January 2011, 08:52 AM
Heck, who doesn't have a thing for Nichelle Nichols in a miniskirt, black hose, and go-go boots?

Dave

Apparently Lt. Sulu. ;)

hgc
21st January 2011, 10:32 AM
Apparently Lt. Sulu. ;)


Oh, he has a thing for the boots. The lady, not so much. :D