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trek racial phenotypes/ stereotypes

SeptuagintXXX

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POSTS: 79

Report this Nov. 22 2011, 1:43 pm

You ever notice how when Klingons were good guys they were portrayed by white actors, but when they were bad guys they were portrayed by black actors.  and klingon females were always portrayed by white actresses. 


 


Where there any Asian-phenotype klingons, ferengi, vulcans, etc. 


 


The Jem Hadar were played by black actors. hmmm.   I've always kind of thought that Armin Shimmerman is jewish-- just a coincidence that he plays a ferengi. 


 


If you were an alien like a Cardassian where all of them appear to have the same skin color, would think that a black human and a white human were the same species.  They must have thought it was pretty weird. 


 


The Universal translator is constantly translating.  When a character intentionally speaks in another language, for example, when a Klingon says K'plah, why doesn't it get automatically translated. 


 

Pooneil

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Report this Nov. 22 2011, 2:11 pm

Only two Klingons have been played by black actors: Worf and his brother Kurn, played by Michael Dorn and Tony Todd respectively. All other Klingons, as far as I know, have been played by white actors: John Colicos, JG Hertzler, Suzie Plakson, Robert O'Reilly, Michael Ansara, Christopher Plummer, Christopher Lloyd, David Warner, etc.


So no surprise that Klingon women were also played by white actors.


I don't know about the Jem'hadar. Many of them were played by white actors, who also played Klingons and various other aliens -- like James Horan and Brian Thompson. (Look them up).


For the record, at least one Cardassian was played by a black actor: the guy who takes over after Damar starts the resistance in the final few episodes. He also played the mutant cabbie in "Total Recall".


 

Roboto

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Report this Nov. 22 2011, 5:16 pm


OtakuJo

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Report this Nov. 22 2011, 9:30 pm

Uh oh. We're going to get into the "Why doesn't the Translator translate Klingon?" question again...


Answer: BECAUSE IT'S KEWL!


(That answer works for me.)


 


What they want for Ferengi are short actors, of a certain physical type. And by some co-incidence, a lot of them just happen to be Jewish. I'm sorry to sound dismissive, but, "Whoopee doo".


And actually (noticeably) a lot of Klingons have been portrayed by black actors. I can't be stuffed thinking up a plethora of examples but Tim Russ was a Klingon in Invasive Procedures, and there were "black" Klingons in Birthright part 2 and Soldiers of the Empire also. And all of these (Plus Worf and Kurn) while Klingons were allies of the Federation.


And granted TOS Klingons all looked like Ming the Merciless painted orange-brown, but that's what's known as "cheesy make-up." Again. Whoopee doo.


They want to get the most suitable actor for the part. (Scott MacDonald also played a Jem'Hadar incidentally.) Honestly all this microscopic nitpicking about the race of various actors in heavy make-up is boring.


Have you ever danced with a Tribble in the pale moonlight?

Matthias Russell

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Report this Nov. 23 2011, 7:26 am

Yeah, the theory of the opening comment is baseless, lacking supporting evidence.

SeptuagintXXX

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Report this Nov. 23 2011, 3:01 pm

"And actually (noticeably) a lot of Klingons have been portrayed by black actors. I can't be stuffed thinking up a plethora of examples but Tim Russ was a Klingon in Invasive Procedures, and there were "black" Klingons in Birthright part 2 and Soldiers of the Empire also."


 


Whenever the klingons are portrayed as brutish thugs, or bad guys, they are played by black actors.  Whenever they are portrayed as heros or good guys, they are portrayed by white actors.  Tim Russ played a bad guy.  That's my point.

SeptuagintXXX

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Report this Nov. 23 2011, 3:05 pm

"What they want for Ferengi are short actors, of a certain physical type. And by some co-incidence, a lot of them just happen to be Jewish."


 


You've got to be kidding me.  There are plenty of short people who aren't jewish.  They just happened to get a short jewish guy with a new york accent to play a character obsessed with money. 


 


In the episode where they found a baby jem hadar, the actor was black.  In the episode where the jem hadar beat up O'brien, the actor was black.


 


In the birthright episode, the young klingon who threw the carcass on the table was black and then the song they sang sounded very African. 

Roboto

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Report this Nov. 23 2011, 3:17 pm

Really.


All I can say is... so what?


OtakuJo

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Report this Nov. 23 2011, 6:27 pm

Quote: Roboto @ Nov. 23 2011, 3:17 pm

>

>Really.

>All I can say is... so what?

>


Me too.


Have you ever danced with a Tribble in the pale moonlight?

OtakuJo

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Report this Nov. 23 2011, 6:33 pm

Quote: SeptuagintXXX @ Nov. 23 2011, 3:01 pm

>

>"And actually (noticeably) a lot of Klingons have been portrayed by black actors. I can't be stuffed thinking up a plethora of examples but Tim Russ was a Klingon in Invasive Procedures, and there were "black" Klingons in Birthright part 2 and Soldiers of the Empire also."

>Whenever the klingons are portrayed as brutish thugs, or bad guys, they are played by black actors.  Whenever they are portrayed as heros or good guys, they are portrayed by white actors.  Tim Russ played a bad guy.  That's my point.

>


Have you forgotten that bad guy Tim Russ Klingon also had a partner, Yeto, in the same episode -- who was also a bad guy and was played by a white guy.


The Klingon chef was not a bad guy. Worf and Kurn were not bad guys. Neither was Tok from Birthright nor any of the characters from Soldiers of the Empire.


You say that when Klingons are played by black guys, they are generally thugs. Newsflash: the vast majority of Klingons are thugs!


Your point in this matter smacks strongly of hand-picked and really quite forced examples. Changed to fit the argument.


Have you ever danced with a Tribble in the pale moonlight?

Pooneil

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Report this Nov. 23 2011, 6:45 pm

I forgot that Tim Russ played a Klingon. Rick Worthy also played a Klingon. I was thinking of the most prominent Klingons (Gowron, Duras, Kruge, Chang, Martok -- at least three of whom were bad guys) who were all played by white actors ... apart from Worf and Kurn, who are obviously not brutish thugs by any reckoning. Really, I think you'd have to bend over backwards to come up with a racist motive for the portrayal and casting of Klingon characters.

excellentking55

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Report this Nov. 24 2011, 6:54 am

Well, there seem to be too many of the black actors appearing unorhtodox or different from the normal human along with some kind of unhuman look, nearly all of them starting from Laforge's visors, Tuvok, Worf, Kurn. the others I forget. However there's a balance somewhat when you look at Ben Vareen (LaForge's father), Nichelle Nichols, Travis Mayweather (ENTERPRISE), Beverly Chrusher's black male doctor's assitant who hardly ever utters a word. I'll have to look up the other one-time appearances of numerous black normal looking actors.    


AIM HIGH

OtakuJo

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Report this Nov. 25 2011, 5:02 pm

Quote: excellentking55 @ Nov. 24 2011, 6:54 am

>

>Well, there seem to be too many of the black actors appearing unorhtodox or different from the normal human along with some kind of unhuman look, nearly all of them starting from Laforge's visors, Tuvok, Worf, Kurn. the others I forget. However there's a balance somewhat when you look at Ben Vareen (LaForge's father), Nichelle Nichols, Travis Mayweather (ENTERPRISE), Beverly Chrusher's black male doctor's assitant who hardly ever utters a word. I'll have to look up the other one-time appearances of numerous black normal looking actors.    

>


I've said this before. LaForge having a visor had --and has-- nothing whatsoever to do with him being black (or white or purple or green!) The idea was to have a character in TNG who could inspire people with disabilities (like the real life Mr LaForge) to believe that with the aid of future technology anybody can achieve anything they put their mind to. Probably the best thing about LaForge is that they didn't imply that the visor gave him perfect 20/20 vision.


Again, ascribing racial motives to casting is like some big Worschacht(sp?) test -- and the evidence for this point is at best feeble, at worst non-existent.


Have you ever danced with a Tribble in the pale moonlight?

TheDriver

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Report this Nov. 26 2011, 10:27 am

I was in 9th grade (my first year of high school) when TNG hit the airwaves.


And at that time, Burton was best known for Roots and Reading Rainbow. So he was an immediate fan favorite.


However, I recall the running joke with Geordi LaForge was that the producers wanted a black guy on the show ... and they wanted a person with a handicap/disability ... so they just made it the same guy! THEN they threw him down in Engineering so we wouldn't have to see him on the bridge.


Oh yeah, and he'd be a complete nerd/loser (just look at Geordi's "romances" on the show) with the android as his only friend.


Your lofty views of the characer are interesting, OtakuJo, and probably pretty accurate for today's fans. But during TNG's actual run? Geordi LaForge's fate did indeed seem a bit ... insensitive...


That said, however, I do agree that the original poster is really grasping at straws regarding racism and the aliens of Trek.


"Smoke me a kipper. I'll be back for breakfast."

Caesar753

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Report this Nov. 26 2011, 9:03 pm

Good guys played by minorities:


Worf


La Forge


Tuvok


Kim


Chakotay


 


Bad guys playes by caucasians:


Dukat


Winn


Chang


Shinzon


Soran


 


Can we end this thread already?

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