With time ticking down to the premiere of “Star Trek: Discovery” on Cbs All Access, a veritable flow of information has begun to come out in order to familiarize potential audiences with the setting and characters of the show. It is after all the first full “Star Trek” TV series to air in more than 10 years (and a film franchise reboot). One of the more tantalizing puzzles in “Discovery” is the overarching mystery surrounding its lead character First Officer Michael Burnham portrayed by Sonequa Martin-Green. However with this new opening up of fact comes a barrage of criticism for long-time fans of the decades-spanning series: that the cast is too diverse for their liking.

And Martin-Green doesn’t like that.

Grousing about diversity

Accusations have been flying around that “Star Trek: Discovery” has gone extreme in minimalizing its Caucasian cast members. Some online opinions even go as far as calling it a “white genocide.” One sticking point for the complainants is the choice of Sonequa Martin-Green to be the lead character, the first actress of African-American descent to carry a “Star Trek” series (Avery Brooks of “Deep Space Nine” was the first African-American actor). That notion is something Martin-Green touched upon during an interview regarding these criticisms about her casting and the series as a whole.

Martin-Green’s view is that the complaining critics needed to take a second look at the spirit and essence of the “Star Trek” franchise which built up its legacy, and that is the realization that a person and the people around him are the same and not separated from him.

She thus encourages the naysayers to the casting of “Discovery” to try to see beyond their opinions and “social conditioning” to see that the production is trying to tell a story that is filled with hope to bring humanity together as one.

Forgot the original themes

Sonequa Martin-Green goes on to point out how the original 1966 “Star Trek” series starring the likes of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy was remarkably progressive in its casting too.

Critics of the diverse actors and actresses in “Discovery” forgot that the first Trek crew of the starship Enterprise was both multi-planetary and multiracial in terms of the Earthlings, with a Japanese helmsman (George Takei as Lt. Sulu), an African-American communications officer (Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura) and a navigator from what was (at the time of airing) the “hostile” Soviet Union (Walter Koenig as Ensign Chekov).

The original “Star Trek” featured the first on-screen interracial kiss as well as episode plots that played off real-world social issues of the sixties. Martin-Green concluded that “it’s hard to understand and appreciate Star Trek if you don’t understand and appreciate that.” Ultimately she thinks that the complaints had missed the point, and hope that they get a better picture of the ideal so they can catch “Star Trek: Discovery”, premiering September 24 on CBS All Access.

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