I grew up watching and loving Star Trek, and just over a year ago I started a side blog called Trekkie Feminist. It wasn’t long after that my attention was drawn to a post filled with some pretty grossly sexist replies on the official Star Trek Facebook page, which is run by StarTrek.com, under CBS. Since then I’ve been noticing and sometimes documenting the kinds of sexist, racist and homophobic comments that proliferate on the official Star Trek Facebook page (more examples of posts here).
And the more examples I found the more frustrated and disheartened I became, and the more I heard from friends and Tumblr followers that this was an important issue that should be addressed.
The official Star Trek Facebook page has 3.3 million fans and is an important site for Trekkies/Trekkers to gather, discuss their favorite shows and characters, and get information from CBS about upcoming promotions and events.
But the hostile environment – which frequently includes rape jokes and racist and homophobic slurs – has become alienating to women Trek fans and fans from diverse backgrounds. When fans do call out the toxic comments on various threads, they often face a backlash from other page users. They should not be expected to try to moderate the dialogue on their own.
With the help of some other Tumblr Trek fans I connected with, we put together this collection of examples (trigger warning) from a two-week period on the site, in order to illustrate the severity of the issue.
Star Trek’s founder Gene Roddenberry once said: “Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms.”
It’s time to work towards that vision in our fan spaces. I am sending a letter to CBS with the screencaptured examples, testimonials from other fans, and examples of good comments policies in place on other sites. You can help by signing the petition online to add your voice:
Please click here to sign the petition to CBS and StarTrek.com, calling on them to work together to implement a comments policy that:
See here for additional supporting documents:
Thanks for your support!