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» Flare Sci-Fi Forums » Community » Other Television Shows » Cultural diversity rant (Page 4)

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Author Topic: Cultural diversity rant
Malnurtured Snay
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Wif whut reference, Cappain Ichabod? Wo'ld War Iah movies an' 'Kraut'?

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Masao
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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.

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TSN
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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.


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The_Tom
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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.

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cptmkb
I WAS IN THE FUTURE, IT WAS TOO LATE TO RSVP
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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.

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Masao
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"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.)

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Sol System
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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.


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Malnurtured Snay
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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?

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TSN
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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.


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Masao
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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).


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Malnurtured Snay
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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!

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Masao
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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).

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OnToMars
Now on to the making of films!
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Too bad STV isn't canon...

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TSN
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Rather, too bad it is.
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cptmkb
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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 ..

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