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  •  Kinda hard to imagine it, now, but (32+ / 0-)

    back when Captain Kirk kissed Lt. Uhura (Nyota, as she was later called by Spock in a 2009 Star Trek film) in the 1968 episode titled "Plato's Stepchildren", it was one of America's first broadcast television 'inter-racial' kisses. That kiss was not without controversy.

    When NBC executives learned of the kiss they became concerned it would anger TV stations in the conservative Deep South.[8] Earlier in 1968, NBC had expressed similar concern over a musical sequence in a Petula Clark special in which she touched Harry Belafonte's arm, a moment cited as the first occasion of direct physical contact on American television between a man and woman of different races.[9] At one point during negotiations, the idea was brought up of having Spock kiss Uhura instead,[10] but William Shatner insisted that they stick with the original script.[citation needed] NBC finally ordered that two versions of the scene be shot—one where Kirk and Uhura kissed and one where they did not.[11] Having successfully recorded the former version of the scene, Shatner and Nichelle Nichols deliberately flubbed every take of the latter version, thus forcing the episode to go out with the kiss intact.[12][13]
    As Nichelle Nichols writes:


    'Knowing that Gene was determined to air the real kiss, Bill shook me and hissed menacingly in his best ham-fisted Kirkian staccato delivery, "I! WON'T! KISS! YOU! I! WON'T! KISS! YOU!"
        It was absolutely awful, and we were hysterical and ecstatic. The director was beside himself, and still determined to get the kissless shot. So we did it again, and it seemed to be fine. "Cut! Print! That's a wrap!"
        The next day they screened the dailies, and although I rarely attended them, I couldn't miss this one. Everyone watched as Kirk and Uhura kissed and kissed and kissed. And I'd like to set the record straight: Although Kirk and Uhura fought it, they did kiss in every single scene. When the non-kissing scene came on, everyone in the room cracked up. The last shot, which looked okay on the set, actually had Bill wildly crossing his eyes. It was so corny and just plain bad it was unusable. The only alternative was to cut out the scene altogether, but that was impossible to do without ruining the entire episode. Finally, the guys in charge relented: "To hell with it. Let's go with the kiss." I guess they figured we were going to be cancelled in a few months anyway. And so the kiss stayed.'[14]
    Sorry for wandering of topic into Trekker territory, but that TV show was one of my favorites as a kid. Yes, they were high camp, and Shatner's over-acting was hilarious, but still, they broke some ground and spawned some wonderful movies, to boot. By the size of that smile on the President's face, I'm guessing he liked Star Trek, too.

    "When the powerless are shut out of the media, we will make the media irrelevant" ~♥~ Anonymous ~♥~

    by Lisa Lockwood on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 03:03:36 PM PDT

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    •  As I recall, they actually didn't get ... (22+ / 0-)

      ... the negative reaction they expected to get. (I imagine most of the people in the TV audience who would be that turned off by an interracial kiss had tuned out of Star Trek the first time they saw that multicultural crew anyway).

       According to Nichelle Nichols in an interview:

      "The mail poured in. We had more mail on that episode than any other episode in all of the time of Star Trek. But Gene [Roddenberry] said to me over a letter from the fanmail, 'This one letter in here, this is the extent of the negative mail that we've received.' And it was from a man in the South who said 'I don't believe in the integration of races and the fraternization of the races, but anytime a red-blooded American boy like Captain Kirk gets a girl in his arms that looks like Lieutenant Uhura, he ain't gonna fight it.'"
      •  It was an interesting episode all around, with (3+ / 0-)

        other aspects that apply to events right now. In the episode, people with extraordinary telepathic power lord it over those who don't, forcing them to serve and even humiliating them. That's what the kiss is about. Kirk is made to force himself on Uhura.

        When the tables are turned, the formerly-powerful had to be protected by Kirk from retribution at the hands of their former slave.

        Parhaps our thin-skinned business-gods and plutocrats should think about Platos' Children and its lessons.
        There are a lot of us--and we do have the power.

        Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

        by Catskill Julie on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:45:01 PM PDT

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