The Cast of Star Trek: Discovery Took a Knee Against Racial Injustice
The debut of a new Star Trek series was a focal point for many on September 24, 2017. But I imagine that the cast of Star Trek: Discovery made the spirit of creator Gene Roddenberry—along with legions of fans—even prouder when they knelt to protest the ongoing issues of racial injustice and police brutality in America.
As EW notes, the cast—with star Sonequa Martin-Green at center—”pointedly kneeled for an Instagram post along with the CBS show’s executive producer Akiva Goldsman and several other members of the cast (such as Anthony Rapp, Michelle Yeoh, Mary Wiseman, Mary Chieffo and Shazad Latif).”
The cast and creatives’ stance was posted on Martin-Green’s Instagram and Twitter a few hours after the show premiered with the hashtags #takeaknee and #startrekdiscovery, precisely when the height of interest in both topics was trending.
The mode of “take a knee” protest, brought to a flashpoint by Trump’s attacks over the weekend on NFL players peacefully kneeling during the national anthem to draw attention to widespread racial and social injustice in America, was on the Star Trek cast’s mind on the day of their debut. It is much to their credit that they made time to join the wider national conversation while they also served as the nexus of pop culture’s entertainment attention.
Discovery actor Jason Isaacs, better known to many of us as Harry Potter‘s Lucius Malfoy, tweeted:
In the spirit of Gene Roddenberry – If I could take one knee on the bridge I would.#StarTrekDiscovery
— Jason Isaacs (@jasonsfolly) September 24, 2017
Isaacs is British, but has a clear view of the socio-political storm sweeping America, as well as acting as an excellent medium for Roddenberry’s ghost. I’m awaiting that knee from the bridge someday soon.
And other cast members, like Anthony Rapp (forever my Mark in the original Broadway RENT cast) echoed criticisms of Trump’s weekend blitz in his Twitter feed, retweeting:
It’s an honor when the president is honorable. https://t.co/sWwbKxCK8X
— Jesse Tyler Ferguson (@jessetyler) September 23, 2017
Reactions to Martin-Green’s Instagram post were largely positive, when one ignores the trolls:
Savage. Can’t wait to see you on Star Trek and I’m not even a Trekkie <3
— Koda (@UnderTheFrozen) September 25, 2017
— Starfleet boy (@starfleetboy) September 25, 2017
Some of those trolls have apparently never watched Star Trek, ever. Or if they watched Star Trek, it was with a complete and total lack of understanding of the series’ history and purpose. What show were they watching? It certainly was not Star Trek:
Why did u politicize star trek? Are you trying yo ruin the experience?
— Milton (@vtmilt) September 25, 2017
Why did u politicize Star Trek? I’m laughing for a hundred billion light years into a distant quadrant.
The correct take:
bless you sonequa, a true patriot!!!
— gorgeous hag (@ashaggreyjoy) September 25, 2017
The Discovery picture was a significant step and a courageous move for the cast and greater Hollywood—not to mention a poignant symbol, on the night when the world’s eyes were upon them—to take a knee together for the greater good.
Thank you, Star Trek: Discovery, for boldly going.
[UPDATE] Geek media continues to show its solidarity. The X-Files’ Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny have posted their own photo taking a knee:
— Gillian Anderson (@GillianA) September 26, 2017
Arguments are already happening on Anderson’s feed as well, but X-Files fans gloriously have her back.
— nel (@nel4115) September 26, 2017
(via EW, image: Instagram, CBS, Twitter)
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