Wednesday 17 June 2020

CBS supporting Black Lives Matter with Star Trek United streaming and fundraising event

CBS are throwing their support behind the Black Lives Matter movement with a fundraising and streaming event that celebrates Star Trek's long running commitment to embracing diversity, and striving for a better future.

CBS have found a suitable quote from Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry to emphasise this legacy:
Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences…
On Wednesday 17th of June (today!) CBS are encouraging us to tweet #StarTrekUnitedGives, and for each tweet with this hashtag they will donation one dollar towards organisations "doing the real-world work of championing diversity and fighting injustice", including Black Strategy Fund, Movement for Black Lives, and Black Lives Matter. Here are some of the stars of Trek introducing the event:

In addition to this, they have curated a selection of Star Trek episodes that focus on the fight for equality or on overcoming difference, and will be making them available to stream for free on multiple platforms, including, StarTrek.comPlutoTV for a week, and just for the day also on Twitch, also starting today.

The episodes they've picked, and the summaries/rationales are:
Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 3 Episode 10, "Plato's Stepchildren"
Platonians use psychokinetic power to toy with the crew.

Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 1 Episode 25, "The Devil In The Dark"
An unknown monster threatens a critical mining operation.

Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 3 Episode 15, "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"
Two survivors of a devastated planet remain committed to destroying one another.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 2 Episode 9, "The Measure Of A Man"
When Data (Brent Spiner) refuses to be disassembled for research purposes, Picard (Patrick Stewart) is enlisted to defend his rights in court.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 3 Episode 7, "The Enemy"
After Geordi (LeVar Burton) is stranded on a storm-ravaged planet, the crew's attempts to rescue him are hindered by an aggressive Romulan warship.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 4 Episode 21, "The Drumhead"
A search for a spy aboard the Enterprise turns into a witch-hunt in which Picard is implicated as a traitor.

Star Trek: Voyager, Season 4 Episode 4, "Nemesis"
When Chakotay (Robert Beltran) is stranded on a planet that is in the middle of a major war, he violates the Prime Directive by helping the soldiers that discover him.

Star Trek: Voyager, Season 3 Episode 6, "Remember"
After Voyager encounters a telepathic species, B'Elanna (Roxann Dawson) starts having powerful dreams that depict the life of a woman and her lover in a time of great political and social upheaval.

Star Trek: Enterprise, Season 4 Episode 20, "Demons"
A xenophobic faction of humanity threatens to undermine talks to form a new coalition of planets.

Star Trek: Enterprise, Season 4 Episode 21, "Terra Prime"
A human isolationist leader threatens to destroy Starfleet Command unless all aliens leave Earth immediately.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Season 6 Episode 13, "Far Beyond The Stars"
Sisko (Avery Brooks) has visions of himself and his crew as writers for a science fiction paper in 1950's Earth.

Star Trek: Discovery, Season 2 Episode 6, "The Sounds of Thunder"
When a new signal appears over Saru's (Doug Jones) home planet, Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), Saru, and the crew embark on a perilous mission that puts Saru in danger and raises questions about the Red Angel's intentions. Hugh (Wilson Cruz) struggles to come to terms with his new reality.

Star Trek: Picard, Season 1 Episode 1, "Remembrance"
At the end of the 24th Century, and 14 years after his retirement from Starfleet, Jean-Luc Picard is living a quiet life on his vineyard, Chateau Picard. When he is sought out by a mysterious young woman, Dahj (Isa Briones), in need of his help, he soon realizes she may have personal connections to his own past.

Star Trek: Picard, Season 1 Episode 2, "Maps And Legends"
Picard begins investigating the mystery of Dahj as well as what her very existence means to the Federation. Without Starfleet's support, Picard is left to lean on others for help, including Dr. Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) and an estranged former colleague, Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd). Meanwhile, hidden enemies are also interested in where Picard's search for the truth about Dahj will lead.

Star Trek: Picard, Season 1 Episode 3, "The End Is The Beginning"
Completely unaware of her special nature, Soji continues her work and captures the attention of the Borg cube research project's executive director. After rehashing past events with a reluctant Raffi, Picard seeks others willing to join his search for Bruce Maddox, including pilot and former Starfleet officer Cristóbal Rios (Santiago Cabrera).
Some obvious and good picks there, chief among them Far Beyond the Stars, one of the most powerful statements on inequality in all of Trek, and one of the best ever episodes. Although the lack of showing for DS9 is a bit disappointing, especially when Past Tense seems extremely relevant to current events - So go seek that out for a refresher too!

This initiative follows CBS's initial response to the current wave of Black Lives Matter protests, in this statement sent across their social media:

To which I added at the time on my own social media, and will restate again today: Star Trek's vision of the future has expressed that black lives matter for over half a century. We can never live out infinite diversity in infinite combinations, until everyone can live long and prosper. We all play our part in making sure we get to that future.

And CBS aren't done, they have, to mark Captain Picard Day yesterday, launched a delightfully strange promo, involving sending Star Trek pizzas to various people involved in Trek and the media. In doing so they have supported local businesses struggling through the Covid crisis, by making orders of Starfleet delta shaped pizzas, and also made more donations, this time to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Black Lives Matter. Inspired by Picard, the pizzas, of course, come in a Papa Riker's Nepenthe Style Pizza box. Behold:

Thanks to the delighted recipients sharing photos of their pizzas on social media. Here is a ginormous collection of Star Trek pizzas to admire. Via Marina Sirtis, Jeri Ryan, Michael Chabon, John Van Citters, Chris GallipoliAlex Zalben, Danette ChavezDaniel MontgomeryDave NemetzDominic PattenEric HegedüsHanh NguyenJen GlennonKeisha HatchettRoger ChengScott Collura, and Scott Snowden:

This is definitely the best tweet inspired by this effort:

Anywho. Top marks all round CBS. Novelty Pizza, supporting small local businesses, putting your money where your mouth is in support of Black Lives Matter, and making use of the positive messages from the entire history of Star Trek to further that discussion. Plus of course both behind and in front of the camera Star Trek of today is the most diverse and inclusive it has ever been. Bravo, and keep it up.

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