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Episode 179 — Racist Caricatures In Sci-Fi

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Well said both Chang and Seanotron. I haven't listened to the podcast, but I do like the conversation as a Sci-fi and super-hero fan (need more diversity in heroes too. There are a lot of black heroes bit not a lot of memorable leads. Dwayne McDuffie did a lot of great work on that before his unfortunate passing.) I want to recommend a BBC documentary podcast about sci-fi writing in Africa. I don't remember the name of it and there's a lot to sort through, but it is pretty great.

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My favorite Star Trek show was Deep Space Nine, and I remember reading an interview with Avery Brooks (who played Captain Sisko and is an amazingly powerful actor - much like Patrick Stewart he can elevate crummy material to near art), and he was talking about the final episode of DS9 where (warning, there are going to be some vague spoilers for that episode ahead) Sisko basically goes into another dimension to teach these aliens about our universe, etc (he sort of ascends into higher consciousness, if you will).


So the thing is Sisko had a son in the series, and then he had just married another woman and she was pregnant. The way the ending was originally shot it was more tragic because it was clear he'd never return, but Avery Brooks went to the writers and said he was uncomfortable with the implications because even though the show was taking place in the 24th Century and people were supposed to have moved beyond race, the viewers were in the 20th and in the 20th there were a lot of stereotypes & hangups about black men abandoning their children, and he didn't want to play into that. So the writers went back and rewrote the ending, and then they reshot all the scenes to make it clear that he would return to his family at some point. I thought that was a great example of why you need more diversity not only in front of the camera but also behind it (regardless of the genre).

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