As with many fans of the original Star Trek, I’ve long heard that the first interracial (for the purposes of this post, and as the term is usually used–between a white person and a black person, both adults) kiss on television occurred between William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols (Kirk and Uhura) on a 1969 episode entitled Plato’s Stepchildren.
I’ve always accepted this, but as with many “accepted truths,” I’ve begun to wonder: was it really the first on TV? It seems to me that by 1969, there were beginning to be inroads into television by many black actors and a few TV shows prominently (moreso than the underutilized Nichols) featured black actors. Didn’t I, Spy, to pick an example, ever deal with this issue? Also, it would seem that before then, writers such as Rod Serling or Paddy Chayefsky would have tried to address this in a series or movie of the week.
Maybe, it’s just that I hope in my heart that there is a more dignified example than this embarrasingly bad episode, universally reviled among Trek fans, one that is truly worse than Spock’s Brain.