Fox News was roasted by social media users after David Marcus, an opinion columnist who has pushed COVID-19-related conspiracy theories, wrote a screed accusing the creators and writers of Star Trek: Discovery of delving into "woke politics."
Marcus accused the show's writers of "electioneering" by featuring former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams in a cameo as the President of the United Federation of Planets.
He also pointed to "a weird plot twist" in the pilot episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds in which the January 2021 Capitol riot "is depicted and blamed for starting a Second American Civil War and the destruction of the planet."
Although Marcus noted the original Star Trek series "always delved into cultural and societal issues," adding it "has always been credited with diverse casts, with tackling issues like saving the whales... and with reflecting American and global foreign policy," he nonetheless said these two examples demonstrate these programs' penchant for "pure partisan politics."
He went on to write that:
"Ultimately, the problem here is that this kind of political signaling is alienating for those fans who are not part of the Democrat Party political tribe."
"As a fan myself, it hasn’t made me turn off the shows, but it’s jarring and also breaks the narrative spell of fantasy and science fiction which is why people tune-in in the first place."
Marcus suggests the political and social discord in the United States today could be because the country lacks "a shared set of strong stories that help explain our world."
He concludes Star Trek writers should choose "universality" over partisanship, American entertainment "is awash in bitter partisanship" and it "leaves Americans too few places to ponder their lives and communities outside the context of red versus blue."
Star Trek has for decades been noted as a landmark progressive television franchise and the show left a significant mark during its initial run in the 1960s, coming at a time of significant political, social and cultural upheaval in the United States.
Multiple episodes across the show's many iterations over the years have tackled subjects as diverse as racial strife, unbridled capitalism and class warfare, the legacy of colonialism, gender politics, the impacts of war and conflict and even the dangers of automation.
The show's legacy of multiculturalism and progressive representation in television continues to captivate audiences today, as evidenced by the franchise's continued expansion and commitment to a progressive vision of the future.
The article soon caught the attention of television producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe, who is best known for his work as a writer on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and for developing and producing the series Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda.
Hewitt called Marcus a "moron," adding he and Fox News "can quote me on that."
Others also chimed in and pointed out the absurdity of Fox News criticizing a show that has a long record of standing against conservatism.
Although Star Trek: Discovery is not a ratings behemoth, it has a devoted fanbase and received awards recognition from numerous entertainment organizations.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds premiered earlier this month and received a positive critical reception. It has already been renewed for a second season that will premiere in 2023.