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One Thing About His Character That LeVar Burton Wishes ‘Star Trek’ Had Explored: ‘His Sexuality’

One Thing About His Character That LeVar Burton Wishes 'Star Trek' Had Explored: 'His Sexuality'

I thought we’d recently posted a similar statement from another black actor who worked in a past TV series, but I can’t remember who that actor or what the show was. 

Or maybe I’m just imagining things.

Anyway… the subject quote came from an interview LeVar Burton did with io9, posted earlier today, leading up to the Blu-ray release of Star Trek: The Next Generation later this month.

And when the interviewer points out that Geordi La Forge (the character Burton played) did have a couple of romances, Burton quickly replied:

Yeah, one [romance] was with an entity that was actually a monster. And the other was with a holographic representation of the woman who designed the Enterprise engines. Neither of which I would necessarily call a healthy relationship. I just wish [the writers] had allowed that part of Geordi to evolve… Because there were a couple of one-line gags that were present in the character — the first one being, “The blind guy flies the ship.” And we solved that by giving Geordi a specific area of expertise from which to contribute, when we moved him to engineering. And the other stereotype was that of the nerdy guy, the engineer who is inept around women. And we just never had the opportunity — we ran out of time, I guess — we never had the opportunity to evolve beyond that. And I believe with the core of my being that Star Trek is better than that. Star Trek is better than stereotypes.

Indeed. I think many of you who are fans of the entire family of Star Trek series and films feel the same way – its vision of a better future for humanity that’s diverse, and in which humans are expected to progress beyond prejudice, aggression, and self-interest.

But, no matter now. It’s all in the past. Can’t change anything.

I think Data’s sexuality should’ve been explored more too :)

The beloved series will be transferred to high-definition for the first time ever and released on Blu-ray on July 24. All 178 episodes from seven seasons will be transferred to true high-definition 1080p for release on Blu-ray and eventual runs on television and digital platforms both domestically and internationally.

Currently, you’ll find the entire 178 episodes from 7 seasons streaming on Netflix, but in sub-par, though watchable quality. It’s just not quite the same experience when compared to true high-definition 1080p. So yes, I’ll likely be purchasing this when it’s released.

Of note, in addition to Burton, Whoopi Goldberg and Michael Dorn were series regulars, and even, on occasion, the central focus in episodes written around their characters specifically; Burton and Dorn were there through it all, from beginning to end; Whoopi came in a year after its debut, and left a year before its finale.

LeVar even directed 2 episodes.

TNG won 18 Primetime Emmys during its run, by the way.

You can read the entire io9 interview HERE.

This Article is related to: News



No offence but Lavar (in that role especially) aint got it like that.


Worf had some things going on. But yeah, if Data could get with Tasha Yar, then Geordi could have had someone.


No one had more than 2 "sexual" partners in TNG… so I think he should be happy. lol Besides its Star Trek…no some romance in space, 90210 deal… I think it had just enough, to much would have taken away from the show. Look at the original Star Trek, every show Captain Kirk was banging ladies..(sorry to be crude). The engineer is usually the nerdy is what it is..

Adam Scott Thompson

There wasn't a whole ton of sexual stuff going on in TNG anyway which is cool with me (don't want "Grey's Anatomy" in space). That said, I feel like the only one who was really supposed to get consistent play on the show was Riker. They couldn't have another Kirk in the captain's chair (Picard was more restrained, cerebral [but only after getting stabbed in the heart as a cadet]), so they transferred all of James T.'s qualities to "Number One." Go back and do a count of Riker's lovers vis-a-vis every other main character on the show. Even Worf couldn't hang, and he was actually more of a brotha than LaForge (Counselor Troi went "black," then went back — to Riker).

Ben Reichman

"I think Data's sexuality should've been explored more too :)"

Actually, what makes the treatment of Geordi La Forge even worse is that they DID explore Data's sexuality. He slept with at least two crew members, if I remember correctly, and one story was all about him learning what a healthy loving relationship could be–and what his limits were.

I think Burton's right–Star Trek at heart did aspire to be better than that, but when you look at their track record in this case and also with regard to homosexuality, they failed to fulfill their aspirations. (After years of pressure, they did a heavily allegorical show about homophobia and homosexuality, but they pulled their punches and took some easy outs, so even that one attempt wasn't very strong.)

Charles Judson

I'm not sure this fell into the stereotype of the nerdy guy not getting the girl. As show full of technobabble, everyone was pretty much a geek in TNG. However, outside of DEEP SPACE NINE, STAR TREK has had some troubling issues with developing the love lives of human characters of color like Geordi or Ensign Kim. Part of that lay in the nature of the shows though. DS9 being set on a station allowed for ongoing plot lines and relationships, TNG and VOYAGER as ship based shows didn't have that same luxury. But, even a reoccurring character like O'Brien got married and that marriage spanned two shows.


Yup. This is a problem many black people face on television, being neutered. With black women, we are shown as sexual mostly with white men, nowadays at least. Black-on-black sexuality is a no/no. Black male sexuality… as in love scenes with non-black women or even black women… very very rare. On TV and in movies I mean. However we are more visible than Asians.

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