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Ripple Effect of D&D's Statement on the Rest of the RPG Industry?

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
It's people of primarily European descent still not listening. I get the feeling, I have had Christians, upon discovering I was once Jewish, heap praise on "your people" and how without "Jews" we wouldn't have Jesus in some sort of apology for centuries of being blamed for the crucifiction of Christ.
Our branch of the family converted from judaism to Catholicism sometime between the 1860s-1920s, but it’s not clear when. That fact is also not talked about all that often in the family, so some people forget...or were never told.

Back in the 1990s, 2 of my younger male cousins were in the early stages of antisemitism that was doing a slow burn through their local black community.* Nobody had told them about our great-grandmother by her given name, Elioni Levy. I stepped up to let them know about their jewish heritage before it was too late.

(It would have helped, though, if the other side of the family and ours hadn’t become estranged at some point.)



* We live in different states
 

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teitan

Hero
There are better ways to teach those lessons than airing Song of the South, though. Without going too deeply into it, a goodly amount of American History as taught simply glosses over the bad. Even with Black History Month being a thing for decades, some people (of all ethnicities) are only this year hearing about the Tulsa Massacre...not to mention the literal dozens of other massacres and similar events, like the levee bombings of 1927, the killing of black politicians after the a Civil War, or the defrauding of Black farmers and GIs (and the stuff that happened to other minorities as well).*

Personally, I‘d rather see less emphasis on putting film, music, sculpture, etc, in their proper context and more emphasis in actually teaching the context. Most non-bigots will agree that things were bad and got better. But currently most people don’t understand HOW bad things were, nor that some truly nasty things haven’t ended yet. IOW, most people are only looking at the surfaces of the issues- until you start digging deep, those wounds aren’t going to heal well.




* And I bet you’d find a similar downplaying of the bad in most countries’ scolding history curricula.)
see you think I meant airing it but I meant a place in education on the evolution of race relations and understanding how things were indoctrinated and evolved over time. It has a place in classrooms, not TV& theater screenings.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
see you think I meant airing it but I meant a place in education on the evolution of race relations and understanding how things were indoctrinated and evolved over time. It has a place in classrooms, not TV& theater screenings.
Even in the classroom, I think it’s time better spent on the underlying issues. Like why the great harms done by America to some of its own citizens is simply not taught in depth. I mean, how many of the literally dozens of black massacres- none taught in schools today- could you cover in the 90 minute runtime of that movie? IMHO, the indoctrination effect of not teaching real world events is far more powerful than the propaganda used to paper things over.
 
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dragoner

Dying in Chargen
Except they seemed to have a thing for casting black actors as Klingons, or darkening the skin of white actors for the parts. Which one is worse in that circumstance, I do not know. I dread the day some of these people with nothing better to do catch some of those episodes from the original series.
Stalin was often compared to Ghengis Khan, and the Red Army his "mongol horde" something that continued with a lot of American propaganda, spot on for the representation of TOS Klingons:
red menace anti soviet propaganda 6.jpg
 

MGibster

Hero
Except they seemed to have a thing for casting black actors as Klingons, or darkening the skin of white actors for the parts. Which one is worse in that circumstance, I do not know. I dread the day some of these people with nothing better to do catch some of those episodes from the original series.
I get the need to analyze things, but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. The Klingons were aliens and the production was on a budget. The original Star Trek also introduced us to the Federation's foremost expert on computers, Dr. Richard Daystrom, portrayed by African American actor William Marshall. I know that might not sound like a big deal, but this was 1968, most Americans had no experience with computers, and shows like I, Spy weren't shown in the south because people were uncomfortable that Bill Cosby and Robert Culp's characters treated one another as equals. For a lot of Americans, the portrayal of a black man as the foremost computer expert, a man compared to Einstein by Spock, was just as much science fiction as warp speed is.

I don't really think many people are going to go after Star Trek TOS because of Klingons.
 

teitan

Hero
I get the need to analyze things, but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. The Klingons were aliens and the production was on a budget. The original Star Trek also introduced us to the Federation's foremost expert on computers, Dr. Richard Daystrom, portrayed by African American actor William Marshall. I know that might not sound like a big deal, but this was 1968, most Americans had no experience with computers, and shows like I, Spy weren't shown in the south because people were uncomfortable that Bill Cosby and Robert Culp's characters treated one another as equals. For a lot of Americans, the portrayal of a black man as the foremost computer expert, a man compared to Einstein by Spock, was just as much science fiction as warp speed is.

I don't really think many people are going to go after Star Trek TOS because of Klingons.
Don't forget the first interracial kiss on television. These incremental steps are important because they provide the context of the time and how walls get knocked down and things become accepted. Violent recourse just creates a siege mentality and by violent recourse I mean demands and forced change. I don't mean the Civil Rights act and the forced desegregation. By my statement I mean laws that police language, which in turn appear to be means to police thought. Areas well covered by Orwell, Bradbury, Huxley and Alan Moore in their works. WHat's going on right now, as a Louisville resident, I am 100% on board but I do think that there has been a reaction to it from the entertainment industry that will blowback on them. Things like the Golden Girls episode and the COmmunity episode.

WOTC did begin a process when 5e launched that was a conscious and organic evolution of acceptance and a real attempt, quite successful, at expanding their audience for the game and going forward I am onboard with similar changes throughout the industry. WOTC has handled it really well in being incremental and shadow changes like Paladin required alignments being stealth removed from the game overall by not being included in the core rule books even from the 1st printing. Then you have the modifications going on through the supplements that are kind of stealthed in like removing negative ability modifiers. There was some backlash at Paizo for similar perceived wholesale changes in P2 that we didn't see when they did similar things in PF1 or in D&D 5e. The reaction to these changes is absurd though because nothing can stop you, as a DM in a home game, from house ruling Drow and Orcs are universally evil with few exceptions. It's called Rule 0.

We hear a lot about what Players are comfortable or uncomfortable with and what DMs need to do but we also need to consider that a DM also needs to have those same considerations that come with these conversations. I am uncomfortable dealing with sex in my games for example but people have always tried to make it a part of the game. Sorry, nope, I am not comfortable roleplaying your fantasy even in Vampire. With how the conversation has been playing out there seems to be little considerations for the DM's limits.
 

see you think I meant airing [Song of the South] but I meant a place in education on the evolution of race relations and understanding how things were indoctrinated and evolved over time. It has a place in classrooms, not TV& theater screenings.
Song of the South doesn't have much of a place in classrooms. Mostly because it is incredibly boring. There are reasons people can only remember James Baskins' Oscar-winning Zip-ah-de-doo-dah (the best mix of cartoon and live action until Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and the three animated Brer Rabbit shorts. Dumbo, with its crows, is far more racist than Song of the South - but Song of the South leaves nothing else to talk about; probably the biggest moment of tension in the film is whether the uncharismatic child actor will get gored by a bull (he doesn't) or will run away from home (he doesn't). Fantasia is a better paced, deeper, and more interesting film.

And the most interesting parts of the setting (how a bad environment can be seen through rose tinted spectacles) don't need to actually watch the film to be discussed.

Don't forget the first interracial kiss on television.
In its day Star Trek was progressive enough that MLK literally begged Nichelle Nichols to stay part of the cast because it was the one show on TV which had a black person who was seen as the equal of the rest of the cast when the rest of the cast was white. Whoopi Goldberg has spoken repeatedly about how inspired she was by that and literally ran screaming through the house for everyone to see that there was this black character who wasn't a maid.

It is very unlikely that anyone who knows what they are talking about is coming for Star Trek TOS.
 

Bluenose

Adventurer
In its day Star Trek was progressive enough that MLK literally begged Nichelle Nichols to stay part of the cast because it was the one show on TV which had a black person who was seen as the equal of the rest of the cast when the rest of the cast was white. Whoopi Goldberg has spoken repeatedly about how inspired she was by that and literally ran screaming through the house for everyone to see that there was this black character who wasn't a maid.

It is very unlikely that anyone who knows what they are talking about is coming for Star Trek TOS.
You also have Doctor Mae Jemison, who was inspired by TOS to want to be an astronaut. She made it. She is also the only real astronaut to have appeared in the TNG episode "Secodn Chances".

I have to admit I find the number of people complaining about modern "Trek" on the basis that "It was never political", "It's being made by SJWs", "It's annoyingly PC" to be somewhat puzzling. Did they not notice that Star Trek has always trended that way?
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
* And I bet you’d find a similar downplaying of the bad in most countries’ scolding history curricula.)
Indeed. In Italy, I was never taught in school about any of the atrocities committed, for example, in Ethiopia by Italian troops and civilians or about the bloody repression in occupied Yugoslavia during WWII.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Indeed. In Italy, I was never taught in school about any of the atrocities committed, for example, in Ethiopia by Italian troops and civilians or about the bloody repression in occupied Yugoslavia during WWII.
Glad you quoted me there- “scolding” was a typo- I meant to type “schooling”! :D I went back and edited that into my original post.
 


teitan

Hero
Since when was that ever a requirement in this social media age of the perpetually offended? Of course people who know the show will leave it alone.
even if it is offensive if they like it they won’t say anything. Look at Manga where some pretty insane stuff is portrayed. I’m not judging but it seems to be a thing.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Except they seemed to have a thing for casting black actors as Klingons, or darkening the skin of white actors for the parts. Which one is worse in that circumstance, I do not know. I dread the day some of these people with nothing better to do catch some of those episodes from the original series.
TOS had no "black" actors for Klingons.
Michael Ansara was Syrian by birth. And he was swarthy - he often played Native Americans. He didn't need much makeup to look dark. He's about as dark as TOS cast for Klingons gets. Charlie Pickerni, in the B&W headshots on IMDB, looks about as dark, and is Italian in ethno-ancestry.

The one who looks darkest in TOS, Kahless, is played by one of the whitest guys cast as a klingon... Bob Heron.

To be honest, I think Aurelio Voltaire gets the look (and the 'tude) right when he sings, "
And what is with the Klingons? Remember, in the day
They looked like Puerto Ricans and they dressed in gold lamé
Now they look like heavy metal rockers from the dead
With leather pants and frizzy hair and lobsters on their heads"
(USS Make S*** Up)

THey all got the eyebrow treatment, tho'...

And, even in DS9, Kang, Qor, and Koloth are still relatively light skinned in their DS9 appearances.

Note that that was before the "reveal" in Ent of why TOS klingons were different, and so no explanation for why THEY have ridges now is given, as DS9 was still, at that point, operating under the "They were always meant to look like heavy metal rockers from the dead" mode.

I always preferred, and still do, the FASA-Trek explanation to the Enterprise one: the TOS klingons were hybrids created to hide the "pure" Klingons. The Discovery approach (modified individuals) just doesn't work for me.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
I have to admit I find the number of people complaining about modern "Trek" on the basis that "It was never political", "It's being made by SJWs", "It's annoyingly PC" to be somewhat puzzling. Did they not notice that Star Trek has always trended that way?
No, and I know a number of conservatives who are Trek fans... of a sort...
One of them sees Trek as a fun ride and a deep warning about the liberal view. Yes, it would be like a Progressive liberal enjoying the Günter Grass film, ‹Die Blechtrommel›. It's a powerful film, with a strong political message, but if you don't pay attention, you can easily miss it in the english subtitles...

Others simply don't find political meaning in pretty much anything less obvious than a debate.

One is simply incapable of comprehending that his particular view not only isn't the only sane one, but that it's not a sane one itself. He's a highly business-aggressive anarcho-capitalist who likes Star Trek, goes to church every sunday, but can't see any resemblance at all to Quark or Kevas Fajio in himself, nor how social safety nets are useful, nor that anyone is socio-economically disadvantaged other than "by their own lack of drive."

How many viewers of MASH enjoyed it solely for the Hijinks?
Of All in the Family?
Of The Jeffersons?
Of Good Times?
Sanford and Son?
Kung Fu and Kung Fu: The Legend Continues?
SWAT? (Either version. it was, to borrow a phrase, "Copaganda"... and the new one still is, but at least we have 3 persons of color in major roles. (One Latina, one Afro-American, one Oriental, and the white guys clearly are differing ethnicities.)
Hawaii Five-O/ Hawaii 5-O: again, "Copaganda"... and both old and new, various issues with ethnicity touched upon. ANd yet, both cases, the unit CO is a white guy raised alongside island culture, conversant in it, and respectful of it.

Most viewers seem to miss the political and propaganda aspects, but they're there.

I even think Red Dwarf makes a fun socio-dynamic bit from time to time - the last human is a guy who clearly isn't white, but clearly isn't any other particular ethnicity, either... (At least until Ace is added...)
 

TOS had no "black" actors for Klingons.
Michael Ansara was Syrian by birth. And he was swarthy - he often played Native Americans. He didn't need much makeup to look dark. He's about as dark as TOS cast for Klingons gets. Charlie Pickerni, in the B&W headshots on IMDB, looks about as dark, and is Italian in ethno-ancestry.

The one who looks darkest in TOS, Kahless, is played by one of the whitest guys cast as a klingon... Bob Heron.

To be honest, I think Aurelio Voltaire gets the look (and the 'tude) right when he sings, "
And what is with the Klingons? Remember, in the day
They looked like Puerto Ricans and they dressed in gold lamé
Now they look like heavy metal rockers from the dead
With leather pants and frizzy hair and lobsters on their heads"
(USS Make S*** Up)

THey all got the eyebrow treatment, tho'...

And, even in DS9, Kang, Qor, and Koloth are still relatively light skinned in their DS9 appearances.

Note that that was before the "reveal" in Ent of why TOS klingons were different, and so no explanation for why THEY have ridges now is given, as DS9 was still, at that point, operating under the "They were always meant to look like heavy metal rockers from the dead" mode.

I always preferred, and still do, the FASA-Trek explanation to the Enterprise one: the TOS klingons were hybrids created to hide the "pure" Klingons. The Discovery approach (modified individuals) just doesn't work for me.
Amazing how you went through that whole list and left out the best known actor to play a Klingon, or half-Klingon, Michael Dorn, who played Worf.

And in the newer shows, no, it was not truly blackace, but brownface, they did with the white actors. Brownface is the new thing that is being challenged.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
In
Amazing how you went through that whole list and left out the best known actor to play a Klingon, or half-Klingon, Michael Dorn, who played Worf.

And in the newer shows, no, it was not truly blackace, but brownface, they did with the white actors. Brownface is the new thing that is being challenged.
teresting how you completely ignore I specified a scope of TOS. Nice misread...
 



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