The racists are out in full force. Somehow, they seem to think there should be all white men in Starfleet, or some such. They’re giving CBS a really hard time over it in social media, and yeah, it’s stupid.
Yes, the racists have a serious problem if they think Star Trek should be all whitebread. Heck, the whole show, since inception, has been about not only diversity of representation of humans, but of other species as well – even creatures we wouldn’t think of as being sentient turn out to be, and that’s an important message.
So yeah, we get that.
But I also notice that CBS is choosing its battles. The other, larger problem the show has is that they have been struggling with it trying to make a show that the fans will actually look at and think of as Star Trek. So far, of the 35,000 people who either liked or disliked it, fully one third didn’t like it. The ratio of likes to dislikes doesn’t get better than 2:1.
Compare this to the trailer for The Orville.
Let’s compare apples to apples here, first of all. Yes, the Star Trek trailer has been seen by twice as many people, but that’s likely because it has the keywords “Star Trek” on it, and people are curious about anything that says Star Trek. But The Orville, which enjoys no such benefit, still has at least half that many views – and, of the people who viewed it, the approve/disapprove ratio is closer to 6:1.
The ratio of people who responded to the Orville trailer is somewhat better than the ratio of people who responded to the Trek trailer. The Orville got a like or a dislike out of one in every 108 viewers. The Trek one got a like or dislike out of about one in every 170, so the social response per thousand views is actually lower for Trek than it is for Orville.
So, the takeaway here is, fewer people per thousand thought to respond at all for the Trek trailer, and when they did, the negative responses were THREE TIMES worse than they were for Orville.
This shows that while CBS has a bigger advertising budget, and therefore more views, that’s only half the battle. The other half is convincing people that it’s not going to suck, and CBS is obviously doing a much worse job of that than Fox is.
CBS is getting a lot of views, but not so many hearts and minds. Their slash-and-burn approach to solving their uneasy and startlingly litigious relationship with the fans over Star Trek fan films did not really help at all. Now we can see for ourselves what that did. The math speaks for itself.
The next question we have to ask is, “why not?” It’s a good question indeed. With all the advantages possible, CBS is still not gaining the ground it should be on this, and the CBS All Access, artificially funneling viewers into a subscription service nobody actually wants, is angering viewers as often as it is enticing them to join. The fragmentation of the digital distribution industry is bad for consumers, it’s bad for CBS and it’s bad for Star Trek as a franchise. CBS just hasn’t woken up yet.