RANDOM FACT #4 - THE FIRST SCRIPTED INTERRACIAL KISS ON AMERICAN TELEVISION OCCURRED ON AN EPISODE OF STAR TREK




The episode featured a kiss between James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) which is often cited as the first interracial kiss depicted on a scripted American television series and just as often incorrectly cited as the first white and black interracial kiss on US television. That honour goes to a kiss between Sammy Davis, Jr. and Nancy Sinatra on Movin' With Nancy in 1967, a year before "Plato's Stepchildren" aired. The black/white kisses on both Movin' With Nancy and Star Trek did draw critical and negative attention unlike the white Asian interracial kisses mentioned below.

Over two years earlier on The Wild Wild West, James T. West (Robert Conrad) and Princess Ching Ling (Pilar Seurat), shared a white and Asian interracial kiss ("The Night the Dragon Screamed", aired 1966 Jan 14). In the same year on I Spy, Kelly Robinson (Robert Culp) and Sam (France Nuyen) would also share a white and Asian interracial kiss ("The Tiger", aired 1966 Jan 5).
Video snapshot of James T. West (Robert Conrad)
and Princess Ching Ling (Pilar Seurat)
"Plato's Stepchildren" episode portrays the kiss as involuntary, being forced by telekinesis, perhaps to avoid any hint of romance that would risk outrage among some sensitive viewers. Also, William Shatner recalls in Star Trek Memories that NBC insisted their lips never touch (the technique of turning their heads away from the camera was used to conceal this). However, Nichelle Nichols insists in her autobiography Beyond Uhura (written in 1994 after Shatner's book) that the kiss was real, even in takes where her head obscures their lips.





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