'Star Trek' producer regrets lack of gay characters. What other shows have a surprising lack of diversity?

Brent-Spiner-dataIn an interview with AfterElton.com, Terra Nova exec. producer Brannon Braga — who cut his teeth writing and producing Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine — lamented the fact that Star Trek has never once included an out gay character in a movie or TV series. “It was a shame for a lot of us,” Braga said. “It was not a forward-thinking decision.” Yes, there was the occasional episode where, say, Commander Riker falls in love with an alien from a genderless world, or Dr. Crusher falls in love with a male alien who (thanks the symbiotic organism living inside it, naturally) changes bodies to a female — who Crusher then spurns. But as far as an out-and-proud same-sex loving character, the otherwise socially progressive and diverse Star Trek universe is stuck in the closet.

Braga does contended that had the shows been airing today, the TNG and DS9 creative teams “wouldn’t have been squeamish” about introducing a gay Trek character. Perhaps. For one thing, I always kinda wondered if Data, in his exploration of what it means to be human, would ever get intimate with a male crew-mate the same way he did with Tasha Yar. (Slash fiction tells me I am not alone in this overshare.) I also got to thinking: What other TV series have a surprisingly specific lack of diversity? I’m not talking about quotas here, by the way. I’m talking about TV shows in which the setting and premise naturally provide for a widely diverse cast — or in the case of Star Trek outright demand it — yet nonetheless are notably missing a key subset of society.

Like, say, Lost, a show boasting one of the most diverse casts imaginable — race, ethnicity, nationality, age, physical ability, size, socio-economic position, morality, corporeal status — but featuring only a single gay character (Mr. Friendly) who appeared in just a handful of episodes, barely acknowledged his sexuality, and was killed halfway through the run of the show. (To be fair, the homoerotic subtext between Jack and Sawyer kinda counts too.) Friends, set in one of the most diverse places on the planet — Manhattan — was famously lacking in racial and ethnic diversity. (Seinfeld too.) The West Wing added the African-American character Charlie Young (Dulé Hill) to its cast after the pilot episode when some people noted it was odd the White House didn’t appear to have any people of color among its staff. And I see more Latino people driving through Beverly Hills every day on the way to work than have showed up on The CW’s 90210.

Tedious and pedantic? Totally. But it’s still worth pointing out, especially with shows like Glee and Grey’s Anatomy doing such a fabulous job capturing a wide viewing audience with a widely diverse cast of characters that also happen to realistically reflect real-life high schools and hospitals. So what TV shows have surprised you with their lack of diversity?


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  • GeeMoney

    In my opinion, most shows and movies still lack a lot of diversity. I think that America has come really far (in the last few decades or so) with having more minority and gay characters on TV, but you still have instances where producers/casting directors put “one” black/hispanic/asian character or “one” gay character on a show and say they are being diverse. How about a show with say, two black characters, or three gay characters, or… an all minority cast?!?!? Or how about make more movies where they actually have minority leads say in more than just one or two movies per year? Don’t you think it’s about time, Hollywood?

    • henry

      that’s what is great about Greys is that they cast it with no intentions of character’s races, so they have an asian woman who becomes engaged to a black man, several black doctors, a bisexual latina, a tough lesbian, a perky lesbian.

      • Brigid

        I never noticed it before… but they don’t have any Indian doctors, do they? Watching Boston Med over the summer (fantastic show, by the way), I did notice quite a few Indian and Indian-American doctors, and I don’t think Grey’s has ever prominently featured one.

      • Lisa Simpson

        Which is very odd, because my last two doctors have been Indian (in two different towns). And diverse characters can be cliches, too.

      • Jimmy

        I think what is great about Greys is that all of the characters are gay. I applaud the show for depicting life working in a hospital as a sexual sauna of passion, I mean gay passion.

      • Ed

        Dr. house had an Indian as part of the cast, but he decided to work for the Federal government leaving the Show during mid season.

      • Bruce Skypuncher

        I think the future as depicted in Star Trek looked pretty damn good – why change a good thing?

      • Todd Stevens

        There was an Indian doctor in the show Sealab 2021 on Adult Swim.

      • alan of montreal

        ER had Parminder Nagra as a doctor for 6 or 7 seasons. There actually seem to be a plethora of South Asian characters on shows, and not playing the doctor stereotype either: Archie Punjabi, Aziz Ansari, Danny Pudi, to name a few.

        I love community, but with the main cast being so diverse, it would be nice to have an openly gay character among the leads (I know, the dean is, or at least reads gay, but he’s a minor character). That’s the only show that I watch that i think could use one.

      • Cinders

        Actually, there have been Indian doctors on Grey’s but neither was a main cast member and were really bit players. There is an Indian doctor, who comes in for psych consults and when the residents had interns, one of the interns was an Indian woman.

      • footballmom

        @Jimmy…LOL!

      • Newsjunkie

        Joey T: pedophilia is considered by psychologists to be its own sexual orientation, as is hebeophilia (those only attracted to adolescents between 14-17). So the fact that most pedophiles are married or have girlfriends does not mean that they are “straight”. After all, for how many years did gays/lesbians hide their sexuality behind faux marriages or insincere ones? (And don’t even try to suggest I’m conflating gayness with child molestation!)

      • Rmurphy

        This article is ridiculous – the show should feel “gay guilt” because they didn’t have a character back then? THe stories back then weren’t hurt that they didn’t have one. It’s like saying that all white people whould feel guilty for slavery. Sure, it is a stain on history that it occurred, but that was what they world was then.

    • FromChicago

      So now the Gays are given a Quota….why? It’s outer space for god’s sake!

      • Michael

        I’m with you on this one. This article and mindset is pathetic. Upset because no gays in Star Treck? Where does this crap end?

      • Skep

        Wallow in that heterosexual privilege! Yeah! How dare anyone complain at having everything made to revolve around you.

        For the record, writers at the time proposed gay characters and Trek deliberately banned them. So, yeah, whine some more out your priveged a$$ about “quotas”.

      • tapu

        Gays are everywhere. You might want to lose the naivete–there’s nothing to be gained by it.
        Also, given the number of characters on any show, there would have to be some number of gays to make the show statistically authentic.

      • Tim James

        Your absolutely right FromChicago. Why consider adding a gay to Star Trek when zero is a number too? I get your point thought– the ship left without gays aboard, therefore none could be added. Got it.

      • Joe Blow

        Who cares, maybe they could have a Star Trek episode where the entire gay universe is sucked into a giant goatse black hole.

      • GJ

        This type of attitude is what gives gays a bad name. They aren’t demanding to be on television shows or things like that–they simply want people to treat them like equal human beings. Who cares about your stinkin’ show. Equality has a larger meaning than that.

      • listenclose

        we could simply have a channel for this cause the major majority of the world doesn’t want to see this nastyness

      • listenclose

        make gays statisticly autistic hahaha this is the distant future where mankind has eliminated this disease not to mention even now gays only make up about 7% of the population how about if they didnt actively discriminate they just didn’t have qualified actors asking for the part

      • Robin

        I would like to keep these pedophiles out of my children’s television shows. If you are going to force my kids to watch these kinds of adult situations, and you want me to buy your toys which are marketed towards them, you can forget it.

      • asdf

        I agree ‘fromchicago’…what a joke. and as someone else pointed out, where will it ever end?!! Our society is SO accepting of anything and everything…the lines continue to blur as time passes. Albeit, none of this surprises me as I’d bet the vast majority of producers etc. are liberal. “Everything goes” it seems in liberal land and everything’s accepted as “normal or right”…

      • canadien

        Et voila, le petit enfant.

      • Andrew

        Robin, what pedophiles? Gay doesn’t mean attracted to children, it means attracted to your same gender, that shouldn’t be difficult for any rational person to grasp.

        Gay people exist, they are part of society, just like blacks, asians, latinos, jews, arabs, males, females, and their lack, given they make up over 1 in 20 people, is a bit strange to be omitted from shows, especially like star trek, that take place in a universe where people like listenclose have long died out.

        My dad worked on the original star trek, he knew gene quite well, the show WAS about having a diverse cast, and gene believed that by then people would stop caring about things like race, or even baldness. And orientation would be no different, they all knew George was gay by the way, none of the staff cared. Omitting gays from shows that cater to diversity goes against the point.

      • troothsayer

        Just call it Gay Trek and see how many flock to see it….people want realism not quota-ism

      • DudlyBRite

        There’s no gay in space cause the “Force” ain’t with’em!

      • pebbles

        I am also with you. Stupid. I did not see any pedophiles or animal lovers too. Does that mean we have to have on TV so “everyone” is treated fair.

      • Joey T

        Robin, get your facts straight (pun intended). MOST pedophiles are STRAIGHT people, not gays. You ignorant moron!

      • Austin

        Wow the scared little men and the harpies are abundant here. Gays are every where, we have always been here, just because your to stupid to realize it shows what fools you are.
        99% of murders are breeders, as well as rapisits,
        Pedophiles, serial killers.
        One day your bunch will evolve , we gays have already.

        So how many breeders did I piss off loll
        Twits

      • J

        I agree, this is friggin ridiculous. Where does this crap end? Stop shoving the gay B*sh!t down our throats. Just because a show doesn’t have a queer for every 5 heterosexuals, doesn’t make the show bad.

      • rich

        How about the ability to tell a story without overtones of someone being maligned or slighted? Guess what…? Outside of the coastal metropolitan areas, gays are NOT as abundant as the coastals would have us believe. Sorry to inform you that he majority doesn’t care about the minority as much as the current administration would lead you to believe. By the way, the majlrity in the United States is white, heterosexual and Christian. I’ll be blasted for being un-Christian, but if you don’t like it, you’re free to move to a land where you are the majority. Now quit complaining…no one ever said the world would be fair!

      • Daryl

        What is wrong with presenting gay characters? And we are NOT a quota. We do exist, whether you want to admit it or not. A typical, selfish straight attitude! Bet you’d be the first one screaming unfair if the tables were turned. And a news flash for you—gays will be in the future too. Here’s to hoping that attitudes like yours won’t be.

      • Jay

        @Daryl: We all know gays exist. Nobody is denying that. But so do retarded people, and you dont see any of them on Star Trek either.
        In fact, being gay is just like being retarded…. you are born that way, and you have every right to live a happy life. Just dont try to tell me you are normal because YOU ARE NOT!
        that is why I refer to gays as “sexually challenged”

      • Ian

        “that is why I refer to gays as “sexually challenged”” — Seeing as how you can most likely not get laid, I’d call you ‘sexually challenged’ before I’d call a gay person that. Plus you seem to like to throw the word ‘retard’ around a lot, so I’d say you’re just plain challenged all around.

      • Dominic

        Robin – the fact that you think Star Trek is a children’s show indicates to me that you have no concept of reality – which also explains your ‘all gays are child fiddlers’ assumption.

      • Jay

        @Ian: you raised two points that have no relevance to this conversation whatsoever. If I am retarded, is irrelivent. How much I get laid, is also irrelivent.
        You can talk trash to me all you want, it wont keep me up at night.
        It also doesn’t change the fact that gays, while constitutionally protected (like retards), are simply not in their right minds (like retards)
        So, in this PC world we live in, gays will henceforth be known as “sexually challenged

      • Jason

        Gay man typing here…sorry I think it is an annoying article as well. It is fiction, so every thing doesn’t have to be factual. I cringe when gays are mistreated, but I also cringe when we whine. People are far too sensitive and that’s saying a lot coming from a gay man :-)

      • Newsjunkie

        Gays make up less than 2% of the population (by contrast, East Asians make up 3%) which works out to about 6.5M. Not every place is going to have gays working or living in it. That’s just simple math. And frankly I don’t care who’s gay and who isn’t. As long as the character is compellingly written and sincerely acted, sexuality is of little, if any, interest to me.

    • CS

      Odd, white comedy always is diverse and has minorities.

      I see a black comedy and they refuse to put one nonblack on screen. So let’s not point fingers about whites not being the tolerant ones.

      As for the story they did have a gay, they had Wesley….

      • Skep

        The actor is gay; the character was not. And your mocking is homophobic…typical.

      • Greg

        @CS, yeah, it’s terrible about how those Black actors are stealing jobs from white actors. And the lack of English-speaking characters on TeleMundo is simply appalling…

      • Wil

        When and where will it end? But, in the searching of all the dvd’s I have in my collection, they didn’t have an openly evangelical christian either. Keep it equal not folks!!!

      • listenclose

        I love black people but I have to say I watch the “black” movies and they usually are anti white racists and stereotypical drug guns sex ho;s drink til you pass out just watch black standup comedy non stop cussing about drinking and ho’s and hating on white people its sad

      • LL

        @CS, I’ll give you that there are more minorities than before in mainstream comedies however there are that plenty do not. For example, HIMYM only has Wayne Brady as an infrequent guest and the only other minorities are the girls NPH bangs.

        Also, you have to understand that minorities cannot be combined into one big group. Just because a show has a token Indian (as in not-Native American), doesn’t mean a black guy will want to watch it. That’s why they have their own shows so they can watch a show with people of their ethnicity whom they might relate to better.

      • listenclose

        oh and lets not forget that there were a few gay characters on the original star trek

      • Chelsea

        I think Chris Rock put it perfectly when he said, ‘I have a lot of white friends, but all my white friends only have one black friend!’

      • Wesley Crusher

        <– There was totally a gay character on Star Trek!

      • Lisa London

        @CS – weird how nobody seems to think that having an exclusively black channel like BET is offensive whereas if there was a “white only” channel, people would be up in arms. Is there a double standard there?

      • Katyo

        As a white person who does not fear minorities (unlike some of the other posters here), I can only give my opinion that a network like BET does not bother me in the least. An all-white network would. I suppose it is because I acknowledge the fact that white people still hold most of the power in this country, and networks like BET or organizations like the NAACP were created by people who were long denied basic human rights and freedoms, and are still not complete equals culture-wise. If prejudice really was nonexistent, all of our media would be naturally diverse without having to make a big deal out of it. It’s going to be very interesting to see what tune we all play in a few decades when whites are no longer the majority here in the US.

      • Alimentum

        @Lisa London – for several decades there, all three networks essentially were “white only”. The world has moved on.

      • Ian

        @ Lisa London — Most of TV is very white as it is, so there’d be no need for an all white channel. Nobody gets upset about Christian Channels or Christian Radio Stations either. BET was created because it filled a void in the television landscape for a lot of people. Also, despite rarely ever watching BET, I’ve managed to see several white musicians and white comics on the channel over the years. It might be tailored to black audiences, but it’s hardly Black ONLY. If there were a huge lack of programming geared towards white audiences on television, I doubt there’d be any complaints about a network filling that need. When you think things out, the world makes more sense…

      • Eric

        What? Seinfeld, Friends, How I Met Your Mother? Where are you seeing a black person?
        Meanwhile, shows like the Game and movies like Death at a Funeral do have prominent white characters.

    • Jason D

      Eddie Murphy owned the black main character for a while, sidney poitier broke the color barrier with fans of all colors for his skill as a top level actor.

      Halle Berry and a fist full of black female actors have brought race into the second thing but while producers try to appeal to the most common denominator of watchers then it will remain..but I for one hope that it becomes a none issue that characters cover color, sex, orientation and people dont think token this or token that…some films take the characters to the nines which is an insult to itself (having gay characters so out there or black characters as street thugs or low wage earners, women as the wife of so and so or girlfriend….maybe its time to give the people what they need and not just what they want

      • DivaSoulSista

        What I think is interesting, is that it’s not PC to have a black couple anymore. If a black man is on TV, he is usually paired with a woman who is not black.

        Just an observation – not looking to get my head torn off on a message board.

      • Sharon

        Interestingly enough, the opera casts without reference to race. You might have an Asian singing the role of a medieval European prince, for example. I have seen two black Carmens. (When I come back to another life I want to be Denise Graves) Most of the roles originally written for the Castrati are sung by women. There are not many men who can sing them.

      • Mindy

        @DivaSoulSista, of course Star Trek: Deep Space Nine did have a black couple on it.

    • Tom

      It’s a kids show. Sexuality really has no business around kids. Otherwise, you need to stop marketing to children with shows like these. Pedofreaks!

      • susie

        Star Trek isn’t a kids show. It has never been marketed that way.

      • Ricky

        Sexuality has no business around kids. What about violence. Star trek is NOT geared toward the kiddies. The themes are intended for a maturing-to-mature audience.

      • deegeezee

        huh. funny, since every character had sex on TNG.

      • orville

        And James T. Kirk on the original show was something of a man-whore.

      • Lily

        Moron

    • Julie

      I don’t want you marketing toys and human sexuality to my children in the same show. It’s one or the other. Not both.

      • Scott

        hilarious!

      • reality

        Julie – then you’d better start doing your homework and keep up with every gay aspect of every show and movie out there. You clearly have no idea how ‘gay’ Hollywood actually is. But if you think anyone is trying to recruit your kids, you’re an idiot. Remember: straight parents make gay children.

      • Charlotte

        So no chaste heterosexual love stories for you and your children? Got it.

    • Scoob

      Sure you could add it in but the fact is, people wouldn’t watch it.

    • Scott

      I think it’s reflective of reality….people in general don’t associate with diverse groups of others, they associate with others of similar experience and culture.

      But yeah ultimately, what does gay or straight have to do with Star Trek? Such a non-issue.

    • blinkone1

      Someone please tell the author to check his facts. Brannon Braga was the executive producer of Voyager not DS9. I know because Voyager was horrible for years.

    • Ferguson

      Erm, do you even know what a “minority” means? It means, obviously, that individuals of that race/sexual orientation would be rare in society. That’s why you don’t see casts where 3 out of 5 people are black – it would be contrived and unrealistic (unless the context calls for it).

      Let’s face it, only ~5% of the population is gay. That means that if even if a TV show reflects reality faithfully, only 1 out of 20 characters will be gay.

      • Lisa London

        You have a point…

      • whatevs

        Thank you! The percentage of Hispanics in this country is much higher, but I certainly don’t see that reflected on TV programming. If you have a gay character on there, you have to have about 4 Hispanics.

    • Wickeddoll

      The character of “Reed” in “Star Trek: Enterprise” was originally written as gay; at a convention, Keating said he was looking forward to it, but the powers that be chickened out – again.

    • Christopher

      considering 2% of the population is gay, it would seem strange to me if most shows with ensemble casts of 8-15 people had a gay character. That’s not to say that none should, but Lost’s approach seems appropriate in most situations.

    • ncmacasl

      Undercovers stared 2 african american actors. lasted only a few weeks!

    • Lloyd

      There are plenty of TV shows and movies with predominately minority casts.

  • Jay

    Oh, please…. I dont see how a sci-fi show about space travel could benefit from a gay character.
    In fact, any Vulcan would dismiss such behavior as “illogical”, and probably look down on humans because of it

    • Strepsi

      The very idea of Star Trek demands it: it is it is a utopian future where the hatreds and bigotries of humanity are erased and all human people are equal. Gene Roddenberry himself wanted a gay character on the franchise before he died: Braga didn’t create one, and still sounds waffly.

      • DJ

        Perhaps gays were erased before the Star Trek universe became enlightened.

      • Kat

        I agree, Strepsi.

      • jimmynog

        The gays were all herded into air locks and voided into open space before the series began.

      • RD

        That is funny

      • Jim Flaherty

        I like these theories, but What if they got tired went off and created their own world. But died off from lack of the ability to re-populate and decorating wars.

      • listenclose

        the next generation series was clear it was after world war 3 which whiped out almost all of the worlds population so 7% gay population in u.s 3% world wide meet world war 3

      • Charlotte

        Listenclose, you are frightenly stupid. Please return to your survival bunker and leave the normal world in peace.

    • Zip

      The premise of Star Trek is that 1000+ beings are all together on a ship. You’re saying its illogical that one of those beings could be gay?

      • Wottadoosh

        Actually, they never asked; he never told.

      • Devin

        Who knows? If there was, that doesn’t mean that they need to do a show about them.

      • Michael

        If one was gay, why would he/she feel compelled to advertise their sexuality?

      • Alger

        I work in an office with 50 people. The blacks are black, the whites are white, the indians are indian etc. There may be gays but I don’t know it. Let’s say Star Trek had a gay on the show does that mean they are flamboyant or do they have to be see kissing the same sex to show it? What would make you happy? Probably not what the demographics tune in to see. My guess is ensign Crusher was gay.

      • tapu

        Michael–you don’t get that what you’re calling “advertising” their gay sexuality is really just being openly gay the same way you are openly straight. (i assume.) Dare you to go a week without saying or doing anything that shows your straight. Don’t forget to avoid pronouns while you’re at it. A wife cannot be “she.”

      • Strepsi

        AUUURRGGGH — the “flaunt the sexuality” argument again! OK straight people, let’s explain: here’s how long it takes you to “tell”, or to “flaunt your sexuality” at work? About 2 minutes. When you mention your husband, or kids, or the hot receptionist, or your family photo on your desk.

        Star Trek FLAUNTED the straight characters’ sexuality: Kirk banged anything, Picard and Beverly had a relationship, so did Troi and Number Two, and Worf and Dax, T’pol and Trip, Paris and B’Elanna, janeway and Chakotay, Kes and Neelix, etc. etc. etc. Straight romance (i.e. “sexuality”) was a prominent plot point for a hundred characters in 4+ series — it is statistically impossible none were attracted to the same sex.

      • Zip

        I didn’t say that gay people had to be betrayed. I just don’t see the poster’s arugment that it would be illogical if they were.

      • Zip

        *no betrayed, portrayed sorry

      • Jay

        @Zip: I never said it would be illogical to portray a gay character. My nerdy self was simply stating that Vulcans would view gay behavior as illogical, and question the intelligence of a society that permitted it

    • Data’s Boyfriend

      I think Vulcans would look down on human being’s intolerance and prejudices more than a person’s sexuality. Biology is logical. Live long and prosper turdburger.

      • Jay

        To argue about a fictional ideology a little bit more…
        I have to disagree with you.

        Vulcans would view gay sex as a highly futile and illogical behavior. Heterosexual sex, however, serves a purpose and is very logical.
        Intolerance towards this gay (illogical) behavior would likely also be prevalant and condoned.

      • Jenn

        @Jay – Do you have an idea of Vulcan physiology? They basically go into heat every 7 years. I would think that outside of those 7 years, Vulcans would logically think that if they aren’t procreating, why would gender matter?

      • Monty

        Never in my life did I think I would read a post that argued the vulcan based logic of homosexuality…

      • Jay

        @Jenn: Vulcans view sex in ANY recreational form as illogical. Sex is for procreation of the species. Therefore, any sexual behavior outside of that would be illogical. …and gay sex would simply be illogical at any time

      • topoopon

        And yet they marry. And they CAN have sexual relations other than the pon farr. So perhaps a “partnership” would NOT be out of the question.

      • Amber

        AAANND…you’re all huge nerds.

      • Strepsi

        @ Jay – we gays do reproduce, and more logically and efficiently than straights. See, we use the wombs of straight couples to gestate in, therefore not wasting the resources of our own people, allowing us to use our energies more effectively to take over — I mean improve — the world.

      • bobbo

        @Strepsi by what you describing we can infer that gays are parasites. Perhaps in the future the infestation was eliminated.

      • rich

        No one ever impled that Vulcans only have sex every seven years. The only thing ever stated was that, every seven years, Vulcan males endure Pon Farr. Possibly Pon Farr was a genetic marker to ensure the continuation of the species. It is very conceivable (no pun intended…) that Vulcans can mate outside of Pon Farr for reproductive reasons.

      • Lisa London

        @ Amber : thanks for the laugh. You are so right…

      • Katyo

        @Amber – you are awesome. @Strepsi – so are you!

      • footballmom

        Nothing like a Star Trek fan board to start my day! Ya’ll are awesome, thank you! (I live surrounded by people that don’t understand my ScyFY addiction, just considered the local looney..lol) My family asks me please to hide my nerd side. I am closested Trekkie!

    • Chris P.

      Thank goodness life doesn’t always have to be logical.

    • solange

      I don’t think any of the Star Trek’s had gay characters because none of the episodes needed it. Their exploring space not sexuality and relationships.

      • Margot707

        Then why was Captain Kirk going after the attractive female guest character (and a few of his shipmates) in almost every episode?

      • Bram

        @solange: There are whole episodes in STrek, where the most you see of “space” is a pic of the ship in the opening credits! I dont know what alternate reality STrek YOU were watching, but that show is ALL ABOUT exploring humanity and relationships, and that includes sexuality by nature.

      • Strepsi

        @ solange – you are flat out wrong. You can not show me two consecutive episodes over 30 years that were not about sexuality or relationships.

      • Steve

        The last thing I would want my kids to be exposed to is human sexual situations watching their favorite kids show. Where is the line with you people? You remind me of pedophiles and their excuses for their behavior around children. Stop.

      • Strepsi

        @ Steve — you have no idea what you are talking about. EVERY Star Trek series was aimed at adults, and EVERY Star Trek series had human sexual situations. Captain Kirk had a LOT of human sexual situations, and the show even dealt with alien mating. It dealt with marriages, and pregnancy, and sex, and romance, and horniness, continuously and in every episode. But you folk are blind when it’s your own sexuality.

      • Brett

        I think everybody’s missing the major gay love triangle that was Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. McCoy was always hankering after Spock and was jealous of the relationship between Spock and Kirk. You saw it more in the movies than the series, though.

    • warghost

      I agree the Vulcans wouldn’t agree it would make the human race become extinct and any influence of this behavior shouldn’t be promoted.

    • tapu

      Why don’t you take a look at all the characters and decide which ones don’t benefit the show. Like, you might cut any Asian or Indian characters because you don’t think they’re of benefit…. See anything wrong with this idea?

    • Bob

      Star Trek was for kids. That is why they made so much money selling toys. Why do you worry about sexuality on a kids show? Don’t kids have enough to be confused about already at that stage in life?

      • tapu

        Yo Bob! Bob! Read any of the comments above that point out the rampant straight sexuality on the show? (Sure are a lot of “thick” straight people around….)

      • Just a nerd

        @Bob – This article and thread are talking about Star Trek, not Star Wars. The toys and tons of other trinkets to which you refer belonged to the latter not the former. Big difference between the two franchises.

        I am sure the late Gene R and the wealthy George L would agree.

      • Snsetblaze

        Actually there are tons of Star Trek toys as well – and they generally are purchased by adults.

  • severine

    Agree completely about everything but really, Grey’s and Glee(!) and realism? What are you smoking, dude?

    • Summer

      I think realism – in this aspect – only refers to having a diverse cast. Not the plotlines of the shows or anything.

      • Dan

        How diverse does any show need to be, just for the sake of it? If someone creates a gay character for a show, fine. But they shouldn’t feel obligated to do it just for the sake of diversity.

      • Skep

        Gee, Dan, how about the Trek producers having deliberately banned gay characters when writers proposed them. Does that make you feel all superior and better?

    • Mr. Holloway

      Yeah, people can slam “Glee” and “Grey’s” for a great deal of reasons…but if those shows get one thing right, it’s showcasing a diverse cast of characters.

  • Roekest

    Whatever. We all know Tasha Yar was really in the closet. Data wasn’t the only one experimenting in that relationship.

  • Paula

    The Bachelor on ABC – they never ever have a minority as the Bachelor – and EW NEVER calls them out or asks them why?!

    • Chris P.

      If they had a gay bachelor I would watch the show in 5 seconds.

      • damian

        They did. His name was Jake. lol

      • Chris P.

        How the hell did I miss that?

      • lol

        um, chris, that was a joke. Jake was a recent bachelor who just had a really nasty split with his “fiance” Vienna where they talked about the whole thing being staged.

    • Alger

      It’s about ratings. They know what the most people what to see and what they don’t want to see.

      • deegeezee

        yeah… Modern Family’s ratings are so much worse than Enterprise’s were. oh, wait, nevermind.

  • Green Gummi Bear

    Actually, I was JUST thinking of something along these lines the other day…was there an Indian character on Star Trek? This came to me in a sort of racially insensitive maner, that there are many computer programers/techs/etc. that are Indian, so wouldn’t it make sense that in a future, tech world, that there would still be quite a few? I don’t know Star Trek all that well, but I know that diversity was something they strove for, adding black characters and the like to say “in the future, we all get along”. So were there Indians? Or back in the 60s no one thought about India as being a tech powerhouse and it just never occured to them to update it after the 90s.

    • Jay

      There WAS an indian character. Except, I think it was an Indian actor playing an alien race: Chakotay (sp?)

      • Chris

        He was talking about Indians from India, not Native Americans.

      • Dicazi

        Chakotay was Amerindian, from a colony world. As far as East Indian, Dr. Bashir from Deep Space Nine was.

    • silkee

      Early STNG had an Indian chief engineer, promoted when the blonde white woman chief transferred.

    • Chris

      Um … Dr. Bashir? Remember him?

      • SirLizard

        Yeah, and he was in love with Dax, wasn’t he?

    • topoopon

      Dr. Bashir

      • Orac

        Dr. Bashir was of Arab descent, not Indian.

      • Creep

        ALL ROOK SAME

      • Lisa London

        Creep, you are one.

    • Katyo

      I think you answered your own question in the last line – I’m not sure anyone could have predicted India becoming a tech powerhouse at that time, or that such a thing would even exist.

    • susie

      they had one who was the engineer but he got killed off and Geordie was promoted to that position

  • Cheri

    How about all these Law & Order/CSI/NCIS types of shows…guest actors don’t count. Can’t cops be gay? (Don’t you even dare count Serena Southerlyn either…an exit line doesn’t cut it.)

    • Mr. Holloway

      Seems like you have to go to cable for that (“Southland” and “The Wire” off the top of my head.)

    • Nate

      One of the main cops on Southland is gay.

    • Luca

      Indeed. I could understand NCIS cause of the military connection. But L&O or CSI. why not.

    • susie

      The shrink on L&O SVU is gay on the show and in real life. And he’s Asian too, two birds with one stone.

    • Brett

      No gay characters on “L&O”? Don’t you remember Ass’t DA Abby Sutherland’s famous last question to her boss after he fired her? “It isn’t because I’m a lesbian, is it?”

  • Handsome Smitty

    Diversity!?! Gays make up less than five percent of the population. Blacks 23 percent. Hispanics 28 percent. Asians less than five percent. Women 51 percent.

    SO should we make a freaking LAW in the land of Liberty and self-expression that all producers of ART must meet ethnic, religious, gender, orientation MUST portray or REFLECT the populous at large!?!

    You people are idiots!

    • Lawl

      U mad?

      • Monty

        Considering there are over a billion Chinese alone, I think the world is made up of more than 5% Asians…

      • Monty

        …unless you were just talking about the USA…because, you know, that must be the only civilization that exists in the future…

    • Wottadoosh

      No, SIR, you ARE an IDIOT.

      Wow, capitalization is fun.

    • M Bluth

      No one said anything about a law. Just logic that these shows supposedly exist in the real world and these “real worlds” would naturally have some diversity.

      • psyche

        Agreed.

        If a show doesnt have a realistic cast of characters, then we as a viewing audience reserve the right to bash them.

        It would be realistic to expect that someone, somewhere in one of the Star Trek universes was gay. Not saying they have to go to Torchwood lengths (where every single one of the main cast played for the other team at at least once), but still…

      • B

        I am Romulan and I am offended at the way the portrays us. We are not just retarded looking Vulcans. We have our own culture, and I don’t think the image these shows give us is realistic. We also have gay, Asian, and Black Romulans as well, but you know… f@#$ em.

    • Skep

      Since no one has proposed any such law, you’re a moron. And a bigot.

      • Christopher

        When in doubt, always go to the bigot line, it must be nice getting to avoid having an actual conversation.

    • tapu

      How are you counting your gays there, “Handsome”? Just the ones who tell you they’re gay? Just the ones that “look it”? That 5% consists of the ones who aren’t afraid to tell you–because “you” might YOU…”Handsome.”

      • Handsome Smitty

        Critical think there, much!?! It’s called ‘statistics.’

      • tapu

        Handsome, they get those statistics from self-reporting. That means a gay person would have to say they were gay to get included. You following?

    • hmm

      Who said anything about a law? This particular producers says that he wishes they had included a gay character somewhere in Star Trek. Not sure why this would make you angry, unless you are a ridiculous homophobe.

  • Justin

    I was thinking about this recently on How I Met Your Mother, when Lily mentions “positive racism”. I realized that for being in New York, the entire cast is white, and of the group I only remember Asians getting significant airtime (Ted’s onetime girlfriend in Spoiler Alert and the guy who got Lily’s death glare) and of them none are normal. I love the show but it does disappoint me that there isn’t a very diverse cast in it. Even if the secondary characters were more diverse it’d be good enough.

    • two cents

      Barney’s brother is both black and gay. He doesn’t appear too often, but the show runners wanted to remedy their lack of diversity and created his role.

      • Monty

        You forgot Ranjete! (spelling?) The Limo Driver! He’s a series regular. Though I see your point, if we can count the diversity on one hand, its not that diverse.

    • The Hoochie Mama

      You people forget that white people like to hang out with white people. Ergo, a show about white people hanging out will have only white people. As it should.

      • Lisa London

        All ethnic groups like to hang out within their group, NOT just white people… It’s a natural instinct to be close to people who are “similar” to you. Not saying it’s great but it’s a fact.

  • sparkle the gym bag

    you said it doing this is tedious and pedantic? why not let writers just tell the story THEY want without all of us telling them what their story should include..if it happens it happens but if it don’t fit don’t force it…

  • barock

    I always thought gays had been genetically dealt with in the future. That’s why everyone was so relaxed.

    • Skep

      No, but bigots like you had been eradicated.

    • Handsome Smitty

      That’s the reality if Star Trek fiction ever comes to fruition, not also a reality that ‘gays’ don’t want to discuss – that they are a result of either genetic miscoding or perverse a use. You want to see anger? Watch the responses!

    • tapu

      That implies that you have trouble relaxing around… you know,… gays.

  • SirLizard

    Although I would have been interested in seeing how gay characters would have been handled in the “Star Trek” universe, it never bothered me that there were never any characters who were defined as being gay. “Star Trek” has always handled topics in an allegorical manner, so I considered the Riker and Beverly Crusher stories (mentioned above) to be gay allegories. One can also say that there may very well have been MANY gay crew members on the various “Star Trek” shows, but in that version of our future being gay is understood to be such a normal part of life that nobody bothered to talk about it.

    • Kat

      Yes, I believe those stories were meant to be gay allegories, and I like your point about gayness as something that no one would comment on in an ideal future…but it still would have been nice to have a gay person’s relationship struggles portrayed. We got everybody else’s romantic drama…but maybe the TV-watching population at the time wasn’t quite ready for that? Maybe the allegories were the best Star Trek could do at the time.

    • Skep

      Yeah, so normal that nobody ever had a same-sex partner, interest, comment, or idea in 1000 episodes.

    • Strepsi

      If sexuality is so normal that no one talks about it in the future, why did straight characters talk about their straight sexuality in every single episode? This is the massive double standard.

      • SirLizard

        My point was that since there were many characters whose personal lives weren’t explored, it is possible that many of them could have been gay. I would certainly have appreciated an overt mention of a same-sex couple, but it didn’t surprise me that this didn’t happen on TNG or DS9. I think that by the time they got around to VOY and ENT they should have had at least one sentence in one episode that acknowledged a gay crew member’s existence.

  • saint of E. 69th st

    some of the tribbles on the old star trek were happy folk

    • kramer

      i’m doing a bit on that in my act now Louis CK is too

    • tapu

      Well, I gotta say, I’d do a Tribble in a hot minute.

      (Sorry. I just had to say that.)

  • The Truth

    I’m just going to throw this out there and figuratively walk out of the room.
    Are not the best movies and tv shows a reflection of real life even if it’s a caricature of it? How many of you actually sit there and examine your group of friends. By this I mean actual friends not what you have listed on facebook. Then determine that you need to diversify more. I need to stop making Caucasian friends I have too many of them compared to others. I need more Asian friends I only have 3 friends in that group. I need more gay friends, I only have 1 of those. Of course you don’t, you make friends as it happens you don’t go looking for them or establish quotas to diversify. So why should tv and movies have to jump through hoops to appease your demand for diversity when you don’t have the same demand on yourself? True equality and diversity will not occur until everyone stops counting and puts down the diversity formulas/checklists. The day when no one notices or cares that a show has no one in one group is the day diversity and equality are actually achieved.

    • Devin

      Don’t forget religious groups. Christians or Jews. And not just to make them look crazy or overzealous bigots. That’s what they look loke ni every movie or tv show.

    • Skep

      Spoke like a clueless white person who absolutely wallows in his own privilege. You don’t know the first thing about equality. Please explain how Trek producers deliberately refusing scripts with gay characters is “equality” and “not noticing,” you f’ng arrogant pig.

      • tapu

        Oh, he just wanted to say that and “figuratively walk out of the room.” I think that means he didn’t want any counterpoints to his own ideas.

    • Tuck

      Thanks, Truth – couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Teresa Jusino

      The Truth – what you’re saying is true. The thing is, television applies to EVERYONE. That’s why it’s so important that this be discussed. Because white people in Iowa have the same TV shows as inner-city minorities, and everyone in between. Diversity on television is important, because very often, it’s the only way people ENCOUNTER diversity in their lives. I’m Puerto Rican from NYC, and one of my best friends is from the Upper Penninsula in Michigan. She told me that the first time she’d ever encountered Hispanics in life were on Sesame Street, because of the character Maria and her family. She didn’t encounter any others until college. But she had an idea of another culture from a children’s show, so that when she went off to college, she wasn’t going completely blind. Television offers us all a chance to learn about people, races, and sexualities other than our own. It should be USED that way. It should be BETTER than we are, not simply reflect our own mediocrity back at us. Yet, so often, that’s what it does.

  • Dicazi

    If you’re talking homoerotic subtext, there’s K/S. (Wich I never bought into.)

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