Awhile back ago, I stumbled upon a panel interview with Charisma Carpenter, James Marsters, Julie Benz and Kristy Swanson (one of these things is not like the other).
* In it, Charisma Carpenter explained that she was forced to leave Angel
because she was pregnant. Disclaimer: I have only seen the first three episodes of Angel
. Didn't like it. Don't plan to continue it. So I don't know much about the plotline when she had to leave. Still. This was rather shattering news for me to hear.
Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy
, considered to be one of then most feminist shows ever, fired Charisma Carpenter for getting pregnant!? Talk about disillusioning.
Shortly after I had learned this, I was watching an interview with Nana Visitor on the extras of the DS9 discs where she talks about getting pregnant during the show and having her pregnancy written into her character's storyline. Visitor gushed about how thankful she was about not having to hide her pregnancy or getting fired.
What struck me was how in the mainstream view, Star Trek
got less props for feminism than Buffy
yet the treatment of actresses in similar situations was vastly different, with Star Trek
coming out ahead in terms of treatment of actresses who are pregnant (it is worth noting that Martha Hackett who played Seska in Voyager
also had her pregnancy written into the storyline, and Gates McFadden and Roxanna Dawson were pregnant during the run of their respective shows).
Over time this led me to ponder such thoughts as these: Is it preferable to have a show that is blatantly racist/sexist, yet the actors who are POC or women are well treated, given good salaries that are on par with the white male characters, etc or to have a show that is progressive in terms of race and sex, yet treats their actors who are POC or women less well then their white male actors or give them salaries that are lower then them?( This got long. )