When "Star Trek: Discovery" was revealed to have a woman of color as the lead, with the show including diversity across its roles, it got the usual polarizing reaction. One side praised a change from the status quo to add more representation, and the other side rolled their eyes at what they saw as a forced PC agenda.
"The Walking Dead" alum Sonequa Martin-Green has the lead role of First Officer Michael Burnham, serving Michelle Yeoh's Captain Philippa Georgiou. "Discovery" will also feature the TV series's first openly gay character, a science officer played by Anthony Rapp.
Entertainment Weekly asked Martin-Green about critics who think the new show is just TOO diverse. Here's part of her response:
"Well, I would encourage them to key into the essence and spirit of Star Trek that has made it the legacy it is — and that's looking across the way to the person sitting in front of you and realizing you are the same, that they are not separate from you, and we are all one. That's something Star Trek has always upheld and I completely believe that is why it's been a mainstay in society in the hearts of so many people for so many decades. I would encourage them to look past their opinions and social conditioning and key into what we're doing here — which is telling a story about humanity that will hopefully bring us all together.
[...] I'm incredibly proud to be the lead of this show and be at the forefront of an iteration of Star Trek that's from the eyes of a black woman that's never been done before, though obviously there's been other forms of diversity that have been innovated by Trek. I feel like we're taking another step forward, which I think all stories should do. We should go boldly where nobody has gone before and stay true to that."
It's a beautiful inclusive statement recognizing the diversity that's been part of the show since "The Original Series" in the 1960s. However, all you have to do is read EW's comments to see that her words have basically reached the choir but not the mob with torches and pitchforks outside. They still see this as liberal feminist SJWs making "everything" about race and gender in a PC attempt to ruin the world. "White genocide"-fearing non-fans probably won't watch the CBS All Access drama no matter what, but it may please them to know that Jason Isaacs is also in the cast as Captain Gabriel Lorca, described as "a steely Federation Starship Captain who's considered a brilliant military tactician."
"Star Trek: Discovery" will premiere Sunday, September 24, initially on CBS before (unfortunately) moving to the streaming-only service CBS All Access.
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