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Sonequa Martin-Green Responds to Racist Criticism of Star Trek: Discovery

She questions their fandom

Liam Mathews

Since its first incarnation, Star Trek has been about multiculturalism, with characters of different species living and working together on the Starship Enterprise. The original series featured a diverse cast and even included the first interracial kiss ever shown on TV. So the alt-right's criticism of the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery's diversity is even more wrongheaded than usual. Star Trek has never been a milky-white franchise, and in fact has always been about "Gene Roddenberry's utopian multicultural vision of humans and other species overcoming their differences to solve problems," as EW's James Hibberd puts it. You'd think people mad that Discovery stars a black woman (Sonequa Martin-Green) would see that if they were fans, right?

"It's hard to understand and appreciate Star Trek if you don't understand and appreciate that," Martin-Green told EW about the show's multiculturalism. "It's one of the foundational principles of Star Trek and I feel if you miss that then you miss the legacy itself. I'm incredibly proud to be the lead of this show and be at the forefront of an iteration of Star Trek that's from the eyes of a black woman that's never been done before, though obviously there's been other forms of diversity that have been innovated by Trek. I feel like we're taking another step forward, which I think all stories should do. We should go boldly where nobody has gone before and stay true to that."

Check Out the First Image of Jason Isaacs as Captain Lorca on Star Trek: Discovery

Martin-Green leads the cast as First Officer Michael Burnham. Her captain is Philippa Georgiou, played by Chinese actress Michelle Yeoh. It's the first time the franchise has had two female leads and two nonwhite leads. The cast also includes the TV franchise's first openly gay character, played by Anthony Rapp.

Star Trek: Discovery premieres Sunday, September 24 at 8:30/7:30c on CBS. Following the broadcast premiere, the first and second episodes will be available to stream on CBS All Access that same night. New episodes after that will exclusively premiere Sundays on CBS All Access, CBS' subscription streaming service.

(Full disclosure: is owned by CBS.)