Several minutes ago I sat down to a light dinner in front of the tv. My tv has the Pluto app, and one of the channels on Pluto is a Star Trek channel. Decision made.
This is not an "on demand" channel. You watch what Pluto is showing, like the old-fashioned tv channels of my childhood! A minute or so into the episode I realized which one I was watching, and I switched it off immediately. It was the third (or fourth, depending on how you count) episode of the entire series, called Code of Honor. It is perhaps one of the most racist, or at least stereotypical of Africans, episodes of modern tv ever made.
IMDB delivers this synopsis:
When the leader of an alien culture takes a romantic interest in Lt. Yar, he claims her for his own, to the dismay of his own wife, who, in turn, challenges Tasha in a fight to the death.
They conveniently leave out that the leader is a large, black man, and that Tasha is a well-built white woman. No stereotype there. The attire that these space aliens wear looks more than a little "African", and shows off lots of skin. No stereotype there. They speak in what we Americans would consider an "African" accent. No stereotype there. The society is tribal, ritualistic. No stereotype there. While the aliens have more technology than we do today, the Enterprise crew regard them as primitive. No stereotype there. Physical combat to settle grievances. No stereotype there.
Just to get a visual image of what the show is like, take a look at the few pictures shown at the IMDB link above.
According to Wikipedia, the source of all knowledge and wisdom:
Powers and Baron pitched a story based on a reptilian race following a code of honor similar to the bushido code of the Samurai. This was developed into the final story, which was described as having a "1940s tribal Africa" theme by staff writer Tracy Tormé. The episode was received negatively amongst cast, crew, fans and reviewers and has been called "quite possibly the worst piece of Star Trek ever made".
To be honest, I'm surprised that Paramount hasn't pulled that episode and blackholed it as Disney did with Song of the South. I'm not advocating blackholing it, any more than I like Disney's action, I'm just surprised they haven't (yet) done so. It's bad. It's difficult to watch. I've heard it derisively called "Wakanda In Space", with none of the Wakanda's attractive attributes. Michael Dorn, the black actor who played Lt. Worf, has said that he was happy not to be in that episode at all.
Again, it's so painful to watch that I just couldn't. I came into my library and wrote this post instead!