Hey, question are you gonna comment or out thoughts on that post that's been reblogged recently on gene Roddenberry? Talking about how (truthfully) sexist he was? Because I feel like TOS fans should really acknowledge all of that problematic stuff (while still pointing out why it doesn't matter in relation to the sexist reboot) - I guess I just wanted to see if you had any opinion on the dif. on how TOS was presented, and the intent behind it
Oh, absolutely. In fact, I’m planning a long text post on the matter. Work has just been crazy lately so I’m hoping to comment this weekend. I don’t deny that Gene Roddenberry was an imperfect human being. He definitely displayed sexism and the man cheated on his wife after all. There is a danger in holding someone up on a pedestal – they’re only human and thus have faults and failings like everyone else.
To give you another example, I absolutely adore Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and I share Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s admiration for everything he achieved. However…I also have a friend in his mid-40s who was an undergraduate at Cornell University when Dr. Sagan taught physics there. This friend told me that he had Carl Sagan as an instructor – and that the man was a terrible teacher, arrogant, and completely bought into his own celebrity. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to hear this. That being said, Cosmos was and is a great and truly wonderful achievement and I still love and adore it and think it is a wonderful example of how we need to push the promotion of science for the public good.
I feel much the same way about Star Trek. It was a product of its time made by imperfect but idealistic human beings. Is there sexism and racism in the show? Absolutely. But to ignore the historical context is to do a true disservice to Trek and everyone who was associated with it. The writers and cast had to claw and fight for so much. They truly pushed the envelope and took risks. And the show should be recognized for that.
At the same time, we shouldn’t pretend that there weren’t/aren’t problematic elements to a show made in the 1960s both onscreen and (especially) behind the scenes.
But, for a show made in the 1960s. TOS is a stunning achievement. I don’t think we should refrain from criticizing it, but we also have to consider from where that criticism stems. Wanting to draw attention to TOS’s problematic elements is fair. But using its problematic elements to defend Abrams, Orci, Kurtzman, and Lindelof from criticism would be wrong-headed, in my opinion. Context matters, and to compare movies made in 2009 and 2013 to a TV show made in the 1960s without acknowledgement of this is disingenuous.