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Posted by Bernd (Member # 6) on :
 
I know many of you don't want to hear this, and will make up excuses, for instance, that the rest of the world was simply nuked to death. Thank you! I'm not anti-American, I just want to express how incredibly stupid, unfair and unrealistic it is to show humanity as a group of preferably male white American people - in a series which puts stress on *humans* as a group who have just found a way to live in peace and should now explore space together.

Already now, Enterprise strikes me as the series with the least human cultural diversity ever in Star Trek. Every human seen or mentioned so far in the series (corn farmers, admirals, Terra Nova settlers, crewmen) was US-American, except for Reed. I count in Hoshi Sato because of her obviously American accent. And Ethan Novakovich, despite his "exotic" last name, must be American too, for no one else would name their child for an inflammable gas. "Conestoga" is obviously something American too, although I didn't find out its original meaning. American customs and trivia rule the whole series. Instead of mentioning anything non-American, we even get the third reference to Amelia Earhardt in Star Trek, and to another guy who vanished too and of whom I've never heard before. I didn't even bother to check where he's from.

It is much easier to list the very few things that are not US-American: the Amazon University in Brasil, Hoshi's descent, Malcolm Reed, Phlox's mention of Chinese food. Am I missing anything? In any seven episodes of TOS, TNG, DS9 and even Voyager there are dozens of references to foreign countries.

Anyway, even if we take into account that Enterprise is made for the male white American viewer, there is much more cultural diversity in present-day USA than on a 22nd century starship of a united humankind!

*takes cover*

[ November 12, 2001: Message edited by: Bernd ]


 
Posted by CaptainMike (Member # 709) on :
 
I agree.

[i wrote a whole bunch of stuff about America in general here, but decided against it 1) because its off topic and 2) i dont want to be crucified, have a flag stapled to my face and mailed to Afghanistan]

[ November 12, 2001: Message edited by: CaptainMike ]


 
Posted by Vogon Poet (Member # 393) on :
 
Well, it's obvious really the way things are going right now. By 2150, Americans have killed everyone else. He may not realise it, but Malcy Reed owes his very existence, to say nothing of his place on the Enterprise crew, to Tony Blair wasting no time in getting on the "let's kill ragheads" bandwagon, and the fact that British firms leased half of one of the towers. . .
 
Posted by TSN (Member # 31) on :
 
"And Ethan Novakovich, despite his "exotic" last name, must be American too, for no one else would name their child for an inflammable gas."

"Ethane" is a gas. It's name comes from Greek and Latin.

The characters name was "Ethan". Only the consonants are pronounced the same in both words, and this name is Hebrew. Not even in the same major grouping of languages.

Of course, if I wanted to, I could pretend that I don't know how to pronounce "Bernd", and wonder why someone would complain about "inflammable gas" names, when he himself is named after a word describing something that's already been inflamed.
 


Posted by Ryan McReynolds (Member # 28) on :
 
I agree completely (with Bernd).

Despite being a white American male in the 18-35 demographic, I am often disgusted by the lack of diversity on most television, not just Enterprise. Shows that take place in present-day America don't often reflect our nation's multicultural heritage either. Even a show like Will and Grace, considered to be so notable for having prominent gay male characters, is still just four white people and almost exclusively white guest stars.

Anyway, back to Enterprise, I might take exception to Hoshi... she is not only a trained linguist, but one with a supernatural gift for languages. I think she could easily be Japanese even if she sounds American, given these abilities.

As far as rationalizations go, in the case of the Middle East and Asia, bombing is unfortunately a likely possibility, especially if the whole civilizations bombed out of existence from "Space Seed" (TOS) were quite literal (whether the Eugenics Wars were in the 1990s or linked with World War III in the 2050s). That doesn't explain much regarding Europe... nor the fact that at least half of the Americans should be of non-British descent!

[ November 13, 2001: Message edited by: Ryan McReynolds ]


 
Posted by CaptainMike (Member # 709) on :
 
Actually, Gregory Hines was a regular on Will & Grace for quite a while.

The past couple of Trek shows have gotten around the whitebread factor by including a lot of aliens in the cast (for example: none of Voyager's human regulars were of African descent. But they had a Klingon and a Vulcan that were played by African-American actors (ooh..big deal! Super Friends had Black Vulcan way back in the 70s.)

Star Trek is still waiting for a prominent Indian cast member, and also for many ethnic characters that seem to have not been born in the US. Uhura was supposed to have been from the United States of Africa, and thankfully still had some of her culture intact (and her first language was Swahili). No real idea where Bashir grew up, seems he was of Arabic & British descent. Harry Kim's home was also unclear. Sato seems to share traits with Sulu: even though they are of Japanese heritage, they both seem quite American. Sulu grew up in San Francisco.
 


Posted by Masao (Member # 232) on :
 
If Phlox was hanging around SF, he was probably eating American-style Chinese food with that very sweet, bright red sweet and sour pork, chop suey, and fortune cookies.

I haven't see the episode yet, so who's this other missing person you mention?

Conestoga wagons are named for a city in Pennsylvania.
 


Posted by PsyLiam (Member # 73) on :
 
For most TV shows, it's not a problem. At uni, I hang around with about 14 people, all of whom are white. Not because I'm trying to avoid the "darkies", but just because that's the way it's ended up. And people DO tend to group with people like themselves. (I do have one Asian friend, from a Hindu family, although he's about as Hindu as Bashir was...) You can't have a go at, say Friends for showing that, because that's how most people live.

Should Star Trek be different? Yes. Is it different. Yes. Is it different enough? I dunno. I haven't seen Enterprise. And do we want to get to the Power Rangers level of "One black? Check. One Asian? Check. Roughly even number of boys and girls? Check. Guy with ADD? Check. Guy who eats dogs? Check."

And assuming the education systems of the world improve (and that America continues to scream at anything unfamiliar), it's not unlikely that foreign-types will be taught English with American accents.

Oh, and BTW, Bashir's dad was a Cockney. Through and through. And had a good accent too. So Bashir's probably from around that area too. Someone try and find an episode where he says "grass" (or a word that rhymes with it) and see if he puts in an extra "r" between the "a" and the "s".
 


Posted by Michael_T (Member # 144) on :
 
I agree also with Bernd that Star Trek should be a bit more diverse. But I hate to say it, the viewers that watch the show are really of Anglo-Saxon descent. As I recall, as of the 2000 US Census, only 30% of the American population was made up of minorities. Do all of them watch Star Trek? No. Neither do the 60% who are not recognized as a minority group by the census, but still they outnumber the minority groups. So until the US population is at least 50/50 with ethnic diversity split, expect to see a mostly white cast in American TV shows. Hell, I want to see a gay Asian character in Will&Grace, I want to see some people of Arabian descent in the background of Enterprise, I even want to see the girls in Sex and the City date Black and Latin boyz. But one could only dream...
 
Posted by Hunter (Member # 611) on :
 
quote:
I do have one Asian friend, from a Hindu family, although he's about as Hindu as Bashir was...)

Bashir was quite obuvisouly from a mideast backround. Didn't he once say that Shal El Bashir, the poet was a distant relative?(I'd check my Encylopedia but I'm posting this from work)

quote:
And do we want to get to the Power Rangers level of "One black? Check. One Asian? Check. Roughly even number of boys and girls? Check. Guy with ADD? Check. Guy who eats dogs? Check."

Well no, of course not. However, given the demograhic situation of the Earth by the mid-2000s, certain nationatlites should have more screen time than they have.

Of course there is the question of if the writers could write different nationalites without resorting to boorish sterotypes or conversly make them just cheap Americans with funny names.
 


Posted by Bernd (Member # 6) on :
 
quote:
"Ethane" is a gas. It's name comes from Greek and Latin.
The characters name was "Ethan". Only the consonants are pronounced the same in both words, and this name is Hebrew. Not even in the same major grouping of languages.

I'm aware of the difference. But to people who don't have English as their first language it will always sound strange as a name.

quote:
And do we want to get to the Power Rangers level of "One black? Check. One Asian? Check. Roughly even number of boys and girls? Check. Guy with ADD? Check. Guy who eats dogs? Check."

I don't think that it has to do with political correctness, but just with the ability to acknowledge the fact that there is cultural diversity in the present and that there should be in the future too.

quote:
I haven't see the episode yet, so who's this other missing person you mention?

"Ever heard of Judge Crater? Disappeared in the early 20th century."
 


Posted by Masao (Member # 232) on :
 
Judge Crater?!?! I haven't heard a reference to Judge Crater in about 20 years! He was the 1920s equivalent of Jimmy Hoffa. Disappeared without a trace. I doubt many people under the age of 60 have heard of him.
 
Posted by Masao (Member # 232) on :
 
Here's some more on Judge Crater for the morbidly curious:


Judge Joseph F. Crater is one of the most famous missing men in America, perhaps even the world. On August 6th, 1930, he told friends he would be attending the Broadway play, "Dancing Partner" that evening, and was never seen or heard from again. Nobody has been able to explain why Judge Crater disappeared, although there are no shortage of theories. Earlier in the afternoon, Crater went to his office, and removed a large number of papers from his files. He also cashed a check for a very large sum of money. It is also unlikely that he ever showed up at the theater to see the show. Since he purged his personal files, obtained a large amount of money, and seemed to form an alibi with the theater, it seems the most obvious answer is that he disappeared on his own accord. But no one can explain why he would wish to disappear. The corruption investigators failed to turn up anything on him. So there didn't seem to be any danger of a scandal. Some say he was murdered by members of the underworld (whom he knew). Some even say he experienced some sort of religious conversion, and ran off to Mexico. By now, it is doubtful whether we will ever know what happened to Judge Crater.
 


Posted by Omega (Member # 91) on :
 
I've been wondering about this, occasionally. My current theory is that Earth's government has become uber-socialized by the 22nd century, and the Americans can't stand it, so we all left. Thus our disproportionate representation in 'Fleet.

As for China and India, I'm guessing the entire region got nuked in WW3, which is why in over 500 hours of filmed Trek we've NEVER seen anyone from that massive segment of the population.

Oh, and Kim was likely from Korea, or at least of Korean descent. "Kim" is the Korean equivalent of "Smith".

And you know, frankly, I find it refreshing that they didn't give Sato a stereotypical Japanese accent. In 200 years, there should be LOTS of people of certain descents with accents you wouldn't expect. Take Picard, for instance: French, but with a Brittish accent.
 


Posted by Ryan McReynolds (Member # 28) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by CaptainMike:
Actually, Gregory Hines was a regular on Will & Grace for quite a while.

Hence the part where I said "almost exclusively" rather than "exclusively."

Regarding Bashir, he's half diverse... he's of Middle Eastern descent, but he's from Knightsbridge, England, according to Robert H. Wolfe. He's got the looks, but not the background.
 


Posted by Proteus (Member # 212) on :
 
god forbid an american show actually be filled with american culture, jokes, and people. I know star trek is about diversity, but so is america.
 
Posted by CaptainMike (Member # 709) on :
 
I thought there was an episode where Kim said his family was Chinese.. maybe I'm misremembering. Oh well.

I brought this up in another thread a few months ago: the novels have always done a fantastic job of showing good cultural diversity, and melting-pot qualities. The best example i can think of is Romeo "Hash" Takahashi, on of New Frontier's semi-regulars: part Italian, part Japanese he had olive skin, blond hair and a southern accent. The novels have covered all of the nationaliities/etnicities weve discussed in this thread recently with supporting casts that help flesh out the Starfleet universe.
 


Posted by Dukhat (Member # 341) on :
 
IIRC, in the novel "Crossroads" (another good one), there was a Vietnamese crew member.

At my job, I supervise a crew of primarily Vietnamese workers. Their culture, language, etc. although quite interesting, sometimes strikes me as being more alien than anything I've ever seen on Star Trek. I would love to see a Vietnamese crew member on the show, just for the same reasons Bernd described.
 


Posted by Malnurtured Snay (Member # 411) on :
 
quote:
and the Americans can't stand it, so we all left.

Rest assured, you non-Americans, when Omega says 'Americans' he really means whacko- right-leaning, uneducated militia members.
 


Posted by OnToMars (Member # 621) on :
 
Mike brings an interesting point - taking the diversity a step further. Something I've always wanted to see was more mixes of the various nationalities and ethnicities. Bullworth aside, there should be plenty of (for lack of a better term) mix and matched people. Even if you can't find an actual Italian/Japanese/Middle Eastern actor, you can still give an Italian an Inuit name.

I want to see more Keiko O'Briens.
 


Posted by CaptainMike (Member # 709) on :
 
I had thought that Lao Zhiming (from Crossroads) was Chinese too.. ive really got to stop doing that.

Lisa Nguyen (from JM Dillards books) was Vietnamese too.. good character mix there on the security staff. Mohamed al Baslama and the 'ice princess' Ingrit Tomson.
 


Posted by David Templar (Member # 580) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Omega:
As for China and India, I'm guessing the entire region got nuked in WW3, which is why in over 500 hours of filmed Trek we've NEVER seen anyone from that massive segment of the population.

Actually, I thought North America was the hardest hit area during WWIII. Besides, it's a lot easier to wipe out 200-300 million people concentrated in major cities than something like 3-4 billion in South East Asian and the subcontient (India), most of whom still live in rural villages. We should be seeing a lot less Americans.

[ November 13, 2001: Message edited by: David Templar ]


 
Posted by The Red Admiral (Member # 602) on :
 
There have been a couple of Indians as I recall. There was one in ST:IV, I think he was on the Saratoga, or Yorktown, he was the one that relayed their emergency situation to Starfleet Command. And doesn't anyone remember Mr Singh? He was the Enterprise-D Chief Engineer before Geordi.

But overall, yes, I totally agree with Bernd.

And what the heck is all this talk about Will & Grace??? Can someone enlighten me, and others that don't know, what precisely this is??
 


Posted by Spike (Member # 322) on :
 
quote:
And what the heck is all this talk about Will & Grace??? Can someone enlighten me, and others that don't know, what precisely this is??

It's a TV show about a gay man (Will) and a woman (Grace) living together in an NY flat.

[ November 13, 2001: Message edited by: Spike ]


 
Posted by Malnurtured Snay (Member # 411) on :
 
Actually, while there were several Chief Engineers on TNG's run before Geordi, Singh wasn't one of them. He was called an "Assistant Engineer", and in a conversation with Riker said he would need to run something by Chief Argyle.
 
Posted by TSN (Member # 31) on :
 
If I remember correctly, "Will and Grace" is also about Will's clichéd male gay friend, and Grace's slutty female friend. Or something like that. I've only seen it a couple times, a while back.

Bernd: Well, like I pointed out before, someone who isn't familiar w/ German would wonder why somebody would call their kid "burned". And, besides, as I also said, "Ethan" isn't an "American" name. You should be complaining to the Hebrews if you don't like their names.
 


Posted by PsyLiam (Member # 73) on :
 
"Regarding Bashir, he's half diverse... he's of Middle Eastern descent, but he's from Knightsbridge, England, according to Robert H. Wolfe. He's got the looks, but not the background."

That's what I was getting at. Apart from skin colour (which I never even noticed), Bashir is English. He drinks pints. Plays WWI games in the holosuite. The only thing wrong with him is that he hangs out with an Irishman (joke). I do wonder if it's a coincidence that he's a doctor, considering that of all the university courses in the UK, medicine is the most popular one by far for mid-Eastern students. I'd pegged Bashir as one of them. Rich mid-eastern family who sends their son to an English university to study medicine. I was wrong. Very wrong. But his dad had a brilliant cockney accent and was in Austin Powers, so I don't mind.

I wonder if Alexander Siddig is from Knightsbridge. Where on Earth is Knightsbridge?

"Well no, of course not. However, given the demograhic situation of the Earth by the mid-2000s, certain nationatlites should have more screen time than they have. "

As has been pointed out, giving the demographic of people watching Star Trek, then there probably aren't enough white Americans in the cast.

"I even want to see the girls in Sex and the City date Black and Latin boyz. But one could only dream..."

Actually, that's one area that needs impovement. Even Sisko hooked up with another black person. And can I drag up again the fact that in the US Red Dwarf, Lister was going to be white, partly because he fancied a white girl and that's wrong, but also because I don't think that American executives could grasp the idea of a black slob.

"I want to see more Keiko O'Briens."

At that point all arguements cease, and everyone just points and laughs.
 


Posted by Mr. Christopher (Member # 71) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by CaptainMike:
I brought this up in another thread a few months ago: the novels have always done a fantastic job of showing good cultural diversity, and melting-pot qualities. The best example i can think of is Romeo "Hash" Takahashi, on of New Frontier's semi-regulars: part Italian, part Japanese he had olive skin, blond hair and a southern accent. The novels have covered all of the nationaliities/etnicities weve discussed in this thread recently with supporting casts that help flesh out the Starfleet universe.

Hash is pretty cool.

NF Spoilers


He's the ops officer on the Trident now. Actually, the whole nightside command crew is on the Trident. Mueller, Hash... Also, Arex and M'Ress from TAS are on the Trident, temporally displaced, of course. Also, there's this new guy named Gleau. He's a Selelvian, or elf for short.
 


Posted by CaptainMike (Member # 709) on :
 
I'm just wondering how Ceti Alpha VI reformed itself in order to destroy itself again after Star Trek II. Seeing as there was a time portal involved, it seems that P.D. might have something in store for an explanation as to how M'Ress and Arex ended up in 2377 from different points of being lost in two different anomalies.

Its nice to see a bigger part for Kat Mueller too. Sparks flying and the such.
And she's German.. yay!
 


Posted by The Red Admiral (Member # 602) on :
 
Knightsbridge - London.

Yes Psyliam, that is one thing that's always bothered me about US TV, is the fact that it seems so race-conscious, black men will often only ever be seen with black women and so forth. Why is this? Is it because they believe a black man dating a white woman would offend the general demographic? This is the 21st century for f**k's sake, is that how far television has come since Kirk and Uhura's kiss 30 some years ago!

If this is actually the case then this is a shame, and indeed it expands the points initially put forward in this very thread.
 


Posted by Shik (Member # 343) on :
 
I'd rather they DIDN'T think about things like "diversity." That's one of those fucking annoying industry buzzwords that people like to toss around. For the RECORD, American TV will NEVER create a worthwhile non-American character.

Anyone watch "Crossing Jordan?" There's a character played by Ravi Kapoor--an Indian--named Dr. Mahesh Vijayaraghavensatyanaryanamurthy. That's a bitch to say, though, so they call him "Bug" due to his entymological proclivities. (the scenes with him chasing thought the offices & labs after his hatched, escaped rare butterfly larvae--now butterflies--were hilarious)

Do you know where all this "diversity" shit has led us? I'll tell you. Y'know that remake of "Time Machine" that's coming up? They cast Samantha Mumba as the girl. Her name is no longer Weena, it's Mara. Why? She "looked" like a Mara more than a Weena. Why her? "Because after 800,000 years of interbreeding, humans will all look pretty much the same in skin tone. She had the look we wanted."

Pandering to self-absorbed bullshit, I tell you.
 


Posted by Mr. Christopher (Member # 71) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by CaptainMike:
I'm just wondering how Ceti Alpha VI reformed itself in order to destroy itself again after Star Trek II. Seeing as there was a time portal involved, it seems that P.D. might have something in store for an explanation as to how M'Ress and Arex ended up in 2377 from different points of being lost in two different anomalies.

Well, I think PD might have confused some dates a bit here. I think what he intended was that Ceti Alpha VI exploded because of the gateway M'Ress travelled through, but didn't realise that when M'Ress went through it, it had already been destroyed. I don't possibly think there's a way to fit it in anywheres, seeing as where CA VI exploded, what, six months after Khan got there or something? Not enough time for M'Ress to be on the Enterprise, get transferred to the Einstein (?), visit CA VI, blow it up, then Khan and his cohorts be stranded on a desert world for a decade-ish.

[ November 13, 2001: Message edited by: Mr. Christopher ]


 
Posted by CaptainMike (Member # 709) on :
 
And his date place the portal and the explosion around ST:V and ST:VI (and he still intended for M'Ress to be on the Enteprrise-A because he had her in the DC TOS comics.. when paramount told him to delete the character, her name was whited-out and replaced with 'M'Yra' (who was M'Ress recolored purple and with ram's horns on her head and a point on her tail) She later transferred to the Starship Einstein when Paramount told him to delete all supporting characters. This would fall around 2288 (a year after ST:VI)

M'Ress disappeared 90 years before the new book, 2377.. that corresponds to around 2287. And she was serving on the Einstein. Id say he definitely intends her to be a continuation of the M'Ress he wrote in the comics
The question is why P.D. chose to say Ceti Alpha was still there and exploded (again). A) he messed up his dates or B) he has a bigger storyline planned.

I say this only because, when someone asked him why there was a 16 month gap between two of his novels that he didnt explain, he went back and wrote a comic the explained Excalibur had time traveled and used a slingshot to return to its own time, but missed by 16 months. Braxton was in it, sternly lecturing Mac about time travel. Oh it was grand.

If we continue this, we should start a NF thread because i want to see more replies on Cultural Diversity from Bernd in the gang
 


Posted by TSN (Member # 31) on :
 
You realize, of course, that, after Ceti Alpha VI blew up, the former Ceti Alpha VII would become "Ceti Alpha VI". So, basically, all you have to do is assume that two different planets in the same system blew up.
 
Posted by Timo (Member # 245) on :
 
If PAD is planning on explaining away his gaffe by expanding it into a novel or a comic book, then I've got some other assignments for him, too:

How did the Trident change from a Galaxy in "Gateways: Cold Wars" to an Ambassador in "Gateways: What Lay Beyond"? (The registry given in "Cold Wars" would fit an Ambassador infinitely better, of course!)

What happened to the Talos IV -related death penalty between "Once Burned" (where it's abolished) and "Being Human" (where it's back in force)?

And of course, what's the story with the help of which PAD will finally climb out of that deep, dark hole he dug for himself with that XO=!First Officer business?

Full points to PAD for cultural (or at least biological) diversity, though. Shelby better start checking if she has even one *verifiably* human shipmate among the thousands aboard those two ships...

Timo Saloniemi
 


Posted by CaptainMike (Member # 709) on :
 
TSN just earned his pay for the week! good point.

Yes, the Trident makes a lot more sense as an Ambassador.. I'd be glad to accept that one.

PAD's best gaffe explanation though, was when he had Captain Ariel Taggert in command of the Repulse in 'Vendetta,' without realizing that Captain Taggert had been shown as a man in 'Unnatural Selection' He wrote a scene in 'Worf's First Adventure' where Captain Taggert explained that his daughter was a young officer who he hoped would take over his command someday. Bizarre but true!
 


Posted by Michael_T (Member # 144) on :
 
The only way that American TV will ever be diverse if someone with the capital and resources made it diverse. But hell would have to freeze over before that day comes.
 
Posted by Bernd (Member # 6) on :
 
quote:
Bernd: Well, like I pointed out before, someone who isn't familiar w/ German would wonder why somebody would call their kid "burned". And, besides, as I also said, "Ethan" isn't an "American" name. You should be complaining to the Hebrews if you don't like their names.

It may not be the most typical American/English name, but the fact that you don't think about the gas when you hear it proves that it is an Anglicism/Americanism. Anyone not speaking English (or Hebrew) would think, "What a silly name". It is obvious that there will never be a character named Bernd, but they could at least choose more universal names. Well, there are even much worse names than Ethan.
 


Posted by Malnurtured Snay (Member # 411) on :
 
I don't think about gas when I meet someone named 'Ethan.' If someone said, "Hey, meet Bernd" my first thought would be a guy burned to a crisp (no offense).

You're a very silly German, Bernd.
 


Posted by Spike (Member # 322) on :
 
Well, I don't think Ethan is a silly name. Guess I'm the exception that proves the rule.
 
Posted by The Red Admiral (Member # 602) on :
 
To the English speaking ear 'Ethan' doesn't seem peculiar, names are names and you become so used to them you don't notice any connotations. But to people of other countries perhaps it is strange.

So Snay, you're not from Germany, and 'Bernd' isn't a common name for you. The name 'Bernd' (one would guess) is simply a Germanic variation of 'Bernard', nothing strange there.
 


Posted by Malnurtured Snay (Member # 411) on :
 
Oh, I understand that it's a name, right, and 'onestly, I didn't fink two 'orses by their ears about it until this fread wen I actually fought about 'ow Bernd would sound if I said it.

But Bernd is still a silly German (good fin' I 'aven't wotched a WWII movie recently or I'd be callin' 'im a silly Kraut ...)
 


Posted by Masao (Member # 232) on :
 
Ethan is a good name, I think. Famous Ethans include:
Ethan Allen: a general during the US War of Independence who captured Fort Ticonderoga with Benedict Arnold. Later, name of furniture company.
Ethan Hawke: limpish actor and husband of Uma Thurman
Ethan Hunt: Tom Cruise's character in Mission Impossible
Ethan Edwards: John Wayne's character in one of his best movies, The Searchers
Ethan Cohen: One of the Cohen Brothers.
Ethan Frome: Book by Edith Wharton
Ethan Philips: Neelix!
Ethan Suplee: Recurring character in Kevin Smith movies

Of course, all of them are Americans, which proves Bernd's point. Oh well.

*edit/site admin's note. Due to being linked from WikiPedia, this topic is closed to prevent bumping*

[ December 17, 2005, 05:24 AM: Message edited by: Charles Capps ]
 
Posted by BlueElectron (Member # 281) on :
 
Where are the Chinese and Indian in Enterprise and any other shows?

WE ONLY MAKE UP ABOUT HALF OF THE WORLD'S POPULATION!!!

And we ain't exactly "backward" compare to U.S. in both culture and technologies!
 


Posted by CaptainMike (Member # 709) on :
 
grr.. keep with that reference and you will have some sour Krauts..

I thought Bernd was pronounced not as much like 'burned' but more like if you put a 'd' at the end of 'bairn'

In my German class we all have German names and that was one of the kids 'assigned' names. Someone found it real amusing to taunt him by saying the name very quickly like a guitar noise and make a song out of it 'bernd bernd BERND'!!!
 


Posted by Malnurtured Snay (Member # 411) on :
 
Wif whut reference, Cappain Ichabod? Wo'ld War Iah movies an' 'Kraut'?
 
Posted by Masao (Member # 232) on :
 
BlueElectron: So you're Chinese AND Indian?

The usual complaint is that Trek basically made all humans act like Americans, then shows what they believed to be cultural diversity by having human-looking alien races that acted in the way that Americans believe other human nationalities and cultures act. For example, Vulcans (TOS style, not Enterprise style) are basically Asian Buddhists with bowl haircuts. Ferengi have been accused of being inadvertantly racist portrayals of Jews. I'm sure everyone can match up other aliens to other human races.

On the other hand, the major alien races reflect US racial makeup, including 85% whites and 15% blacks. Why don't they have a race of aliens played all by Asian-American actors? People would probably complain the aliens looked like they came out of a bad Japanese monster movie. Of course, there was that racist jungle episode, but the problem was that the culture behaved according to a US-centric stereotype. They should have an alien race played by nonwhite actors behaving contrary to US stereotypes of racial behavior.
 


Posted by TSN (Member # 31) on :
 
According to German pronunciation rules, "Bernd" would be pronounced approximately "bairnt", as best I can render it.

And that thing about Ferengi being a portrayal of Jews? Whoever came up w/ that would have to be the one acting racist. The Ferengi are simply greedy and capitalistic. Basically, if anyone said they're like Jews, that person would be the one claiming that Jews are greedy and capitalistic, not the creators of the Ferengi.
 


Posted by The_Tom (Member # 38) on :
 
My favourite moronic-thread-that-defies-adequate-description(tm) ever at TrekBBS was a multi-page monster on how the producers of Trek were anti-Semitic because there were no Jewish characters.

Amidst the 50+ "Yeah, the producers suck" posts was not one post pointing out that Berman and Ira Stephen Behr are Jewish.

It made me laugh. Kind of.
 


Posted by CaptainMike (Member # 709) on :
 
And Shatner and Nimoy too..

Why's that thing change 'Mike' to 'Ichabod' .. WTF?

*sigh* try saying 'sour Kraut' out loud. I swear it was funny.

I'm not even sure if that's offensive.. but I'm a German American, and as a caucasian its hard to find anything to make me feel slurred against. I suppose I'll get over it.
The closest i came (besides being called a Kraut when i speak German) was when i lived in FL and they put up a 'Cracker Barrel' in my neighborhood, and a friend of mine said i should go, but he'd stay home because he didnt like ethnic food. Had to think about that one for a minute.
He was one for the diversity books, too. A Canadian by birth, 1/4 Scottish, 1/4 French, 1/4 black Jamaican and 1/4 Chinese.
 


Posted by Masao (Member # 232) on :
 
"And that thing about Ferengi being a portrayal of Jews? Whoever came up w/ that would have to be the one acting racist. The Ferengi are simply greedy and capitalistic. Basically, if anyone said they're like Jews, that person would be the one claiming that Jews are greedy and capitalistic, not the creators of the Ferengi."

Well, what I'm trying to say is that the Ferengi have been accused of fitting the STEREOTYPE of Jews, the MISTAKEN RACIAL GENERALIZATION about Jews, not how Jews actually are. For example, if I were to point out that Harry Kim is a virginal, insecure Momma's boy who can't drive and then say he fits a stereotype about Asian-American males, I would not be saying that Asian-American males are actually like that.

(No offense to Harry Kim or Korean-Americans is intended.)
 


Posted by Sol System (Member # 30) on :
 
Incidently, there have been cases where certain aliens have been cast predominently from one race. Klingons, for example, though that may have just been a quirk of TNG casting. There was also, to address the "race played entirely by people of asian descent" question, a race that was. Uh...the people who were about to get smashed by that moon when Q was turned into a human being.

I think. Mind you, it's been awhile since I've seen it.
 


Posted by Malnurtured Snay (Member # 411) on :
 
As I understand it, a black guy wasn't even cast to play a Klingon until TNG ... and we've had plenty of white actors portray Klingons. But you're certainly right -- one wonders why the Monastary in "Andorian Incident" didn't have a few black Vulcans?
 
Posted by TSN (Member # 31) on :
 
Masao: Yeah, but Kim actually is Asian. If they cast an Asian for a part, then made the character act stereotypically Asian, a case could be made. But I have never once seen a Ferengi character and thought "He seems Jewish to me". If someone fits a stereotype for a certain group, but they aren't a member of that group, how can it have been done intentionally?

It would be like if some character acted like a stereotypical black person, and people started complaining that the producers were racists and Klansmen and should die for perpetuating myths about blacks. But the character is white.
 


Posted by Masao (Member # 232) on :
 
My analogy's a bit off, I admit, because, as you say, Harry is Asian. I was just trying to say that if you recognize or perceive a stereotype in a character, that does not make you a racist.

Also, I don't want to accuse the producers of racism in the creation of the Ferengi. I don't know if the Ferengi's resemblance to a Jewish stereotype was noticed during their creation, but it has been remarked on subsequently, even by actors or others working on the show. However, I find it hard to believe that no one raised objections to that jungle tribe show.

If there are black Klingons, why not Asian Klingons? Their early make-up and portrayal sort of reminded me of Ming the Merciless! Asians have played Romulans (for example, the Peace planet representative in STV) and Vulcans (at least in the background).
 


Posted by Malnurtured Snay (Member # 411) on :
 
Personally, I always thought the Ferengi were rich Republicans. That could just be me.

Mike, certainly didn't mean to offend you ... I'm half German as well (they came over after the first war, before the second), but after watching so many World War II movies this week for vetran's day (not to mention the 10-part "Band of Brothers"), I'm liking how 'kraut' sounds ... anyhoo ... pardon!
 


Posted by Masao (Member # 232) on :
 
Re: Asian Vulcans.
The actress who played T'Pring was born in the Philippines (Pilar Seurat, born Rita Hernandez), so there's an Asian Vulcan for you. By the way, she's the mom of Dean Devlin, producer of several bad movies (The Patriot, Godzilla).
 
Posted by OnToMars (Member # 621) on :
 
Too bad STV isn't canon...
 
Posted by TSN (Member # 31) on :
 
Rather, too bad it is.
 
Posted by CaptainMike (Member # 709) on :
 
Arlene Martel played T'Pring. Pilar Seurat played Sybo, wife of Prefect Jaris. Sybo's name in the Encyclopedia is right next to Sybok, from our favorite movie ..
 
Posted by Masao (Member # 232) on :
 
I must have been misinformed. Hmmmm....
 
Posted by Kosa (Member # 650) on :
 
I was just wondering. Has their ever been a Star Trek character with an Australian accent. Now that would be interesting.
 
Posted by Masao (Member # 232) on :
 
Would I be correct in saying that only regular or semiregular characters are allowed to have accents? It seems that most other humans have American accents, unless accent is specifically called for, as in Worf's parents. I can't recall other minor nonrecurring or background humans (like crewman) with any kind of non-American accent.

This suggests a) that my memory (as usual, I'm old) is faulty, b) American English is the only language spoken by humans in the Federation, c) everyone learns American English at an early age, as well as their native tongues, so that they have no discernible "foreign" accent to their American English.
 


Posted by PsyLiam (Member # 73) on :
 
The American accents aren't especially strong at any rate. While they're not quite "Mid-Atlantic American" (as Frasier's accent is, for example), they're hardly the sort of thing Jeff would furnish us with from the dialectizer.

Bashir's dad definetly had a cockney accent, although it was quite mild. His mum had an Indian-type accent (sorry, I can't be more specific) as well I think.

As an aside, the main reason we had so many black Klingons in TNG (and the reason why a black man was chosen in the first place) was to make make-up easier. White people have to have their faces coloured, whereas black people don't, no doubt saving a million hours a year in make-up salarys.
 


Posted by Masao (Member # 232) on :
 
"As an aside, the main reason we had so many black Klingons in TNG (and the reason why a black man was chosen in the first place) was to make make-up easier. White people have to have their faces coloured, whereas black people don't, no doubt saving a million hours a year in make-up salarys."

If you're being serious, I don't think what you're suggesting is true. I'm sure all the face skin of any actor is covered with make-up regardless of whether they have facial appliances.
 


Posted by Vogon Poet (Member # 393) on :
 
Well, speaking as probably the only white person here who's been made up as a black person, and specifically a Klingon, believe me I can imagine how they've got enough problems without giving them a much-darker complaxion as well. . .
 
Posted by Malnurtured Snay (Member # 411) on :
 
I thought you were black.
 
Posted by Masao (Member # 232) on :
 
I wonder about the decision to make "black Klingons." Before Worf, Klingons could be light-skinned or olive-skinned (explain that one!), but I don't think they were ever as dark as Worf. In the movies before TNG Klingons were fairly light IIRC (like Christopher Lloyd and Christopher Plummer). On early TNG, most of the Klingons were fairly light, too, and played by white actors (I'm thinking of that episode with the sleeper ship Klingons). Then, the Klingons seemed to get darker (maybe starting with Kurn?), such that dark-skinned Klingons played by blacks seem to be at least half of all Klingons. At least that's my impression from a limited viewing of DS9 and Enterprise (1 episode).

Does anyone remember any comments at the time when the Klingon "color line" was broken? Or did everyone seem to accept it pretty well. There seemed more resistance to the idea of a black Vulcan (Tuvok).
 


Posted by Ryan McReynolds (Member # 28) on :
 
Well, even the more light-skinned Klingons were darker than your average white person, particularly Kang, and Kor to a lesser extent. (Koloth is a glaring exception.) Since the nose appliances and straight-haired wigs and beards tend to hide the slight physiological differences between blacks and whites, it was only a relatively minor difference in coloration, so I can't imaging many people noticing.

With Tuvok, though, the differences between black and white weren't hidden. Most noticeably, all Vulcans before and after had straight or moderately curly hair, even Tuvok's black wife, but he had tightly curled hair.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that there shouldn't be black Vulcans, merely that there was a more unexpected change of appearance there than with black Klingons. In fact, I can't think of any good reason for there not to be analogues of every human racial group on other planets. While we're now pretty genetically mixed and there are no "true" races, the differences of appearance were initially selected for environmental and reproductive reasons... and if an alien planet is as environmentally diverse as Earth, there can be just as much physical diversity.
 


Posted by Masao (Member # 232) on :
 
Racial differences are responses to local differences in environment. Racial differences appear and are maintained by lack of intermating or limited intermating between these local populations. However, if there is complete intermating between all populations, racial differences should, in theory, eventually disappear if environmental selection no longer occurs. To make a crude analogy, if you take a bunch of purebreed dogs of different breeds (ie, races) and set them loose on an island, after a few generations, they'll end up looking the same. Earth, of course, still has numerous cultural, racial, geographic, and economic divisions and does not yet have a single universal interbreeding society, so racial differences persist. But, if a planet has a very long history of a single universal culture, everyone might end up looking the same. How long this takes, who knows?
 
Posted by Ryan McReynolds (Member # 28) on :
 
That's true, but it's still mighty coincidental that the racially-mixed unified appearance of every alien species looks like a white human.
 
Posted by PsyLiam (Member # 73) on :
 
"As an aside, the main reason we had so many black Klingons in TNG (and the reason why a black man was chosen in the first place) was to make make-up easier."

'If you're being serious, I don't think what you're suggesting is true. I'm sure all the face skin of any actor is covered with make-up regardless of whether they have facial appliances.'

Why wouldn't I be serious? And it is true. I think it says in the Next Generation Compendium. Besides, the white/olive Klingons have to have every visible part of their body coloured, whereas Dorn doesn't. Besides, there's a world of difference between applying the base make-up that every actor would have, and putting on skin colour changing make-up. Brent Spiner's hour (at least) in make-up wasn't just them putting in his contact lenses.

And it's possible it was accepted more because it wasn't made a big deal. Or rather, the thing that was made a big deal was the fact that there was a friendly Klingon, not that there was a black Klingon.
 


Posted by Grokca (Member # 722) on :
 
As to the black Vulcans, I would think that if there is one black vulcan they all should have been black or close to black. They come from a planet where ultra violet radiation is a lot higher than on earth, therefore if one group of them used darkened pigment to counteract this then because of the increased uv then most of them should have been dark.
A very high percentage of humans are dark and we have a lower concentration uv.
At least it would seem that pastey white like Spock would have been abnormal.
Paul
 
Posted by Ryan McReynolds (Member # 28) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Grokca:
As to the black Vulcans, I would think that if there is one black vulcan they all should have been black or close to black. They come from a planet where ultra violet radiation is a lot higher than on earth, therefore if one group of them used darkened pigment to counteract this then because of the increased uv then most of them should have been dark.

The flaw in your reasoning is the idea that black Vulcans are dark to counteract the normal UV radiation on the planet. Perhaps, as it true on Earth, there are regions with varying levels of radiation.
 


Posted by Masao (Member # 232) on :
 
"That's true, but it's still mighty coincidental that the racially-mixed unified appearance of every alien species looks like a white human."

Right, that's what we've been saying. It's pretty fishy that most aliens either are all played by caucasians or mirror exactly the racial make-up of the United States (without Hispanics or Asians). I find it unlikely that on every single planet a light-skinned race became the dominant racial type. Maybe it's Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Planetary Development, which would seem to be a godsend for white supremicists throughout the Galaxy.

Dark skin is the adaptation to UV radiation on Earth, but other adaptations may have evolved on other planets, such as hair, mineral deposits in the skin, tougher DNA, etc.

PsyLiam: I'm not going to say anything more about black Klingons, as I don't know that much about make-up. But is is true that they specifically sought to cast a black as Worf because of make-up concerns? With Starfleet Uniforms you only have to cover the head and hands.
 


Posted by PsyLiam (Member # 73) on :
 
Yes, according to what I've read. And they'd have to touch-up the make-up during the day as well (Data's make-up occasionally rubbed off on the consoles).

Are you implying that it's racist in any way? I see it as common sense. Klingons were never "white" anyway, and casting a black person to play a dark-skinned Klingon to save money on make-up just seems practical.
 


Posted by Masao (Member # 232) on :
 
"Are you implying that it's racist in any way?"

Not at all. I'm just saying that casting somehow just because make up would be easier to apply sounds sort of strange. You'd think that other factors would be more important. Does this mean that the producers were considering only black actors for the role of Worf?
 


Posted by Masao (Member # 232) on :
 
PsiLiam: I'm sorry to have doubted you!! I just checked my own STTNG Companion and it says right there that they considered only black actors. Christ!
 
Posted by PsyLiam (Member # 73) on :
 
I don't know if they'd have ONLY considered black actors, but I'm sure they tried really hard to get one. And I'm sure that they tried really hard to get a black man for Sisko, and a woman for Janeway.
 
Posted by OnToMars (Member # 621) on :
 
Just as an observation, noticed a black Bajoran in "Favor the Bold" right before the conversation between Quark/Kira/Jake when the figure out how to get a message to Sisko. It was actually a bit of a red herring, so it was most likely intentional...

::shrugs::
 


Posted by Balaam Xumucane (Member # 419) on :
 
quote:
PsyLiam:
I'm sure that they tried really hard to get a black man for Sisko, and a woman for Janeway

It's really too bad they weren't able to get a woman...
 


Posted by Malnurtured Snay (Member # 411) on :
 
They've had black Bajorans before. There was one in "Duet" that I can remember.
 


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