Being compared to Antifa wouldn’t be a badge of honor for everyone though in some folk’s eyes it could be considered virtuous. Recently a Star Trek actress drew comparisons between a former franchise character and the sometimes violent left-wing group. In an interview with Trekmovie.com (via Bounding Into Comics), Star Trek: Lower Decks star Tawny Newsome drew some odd comparisons between a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine character and the group.
In the interview, Newsome was asked about characters from the franchise’s past who she identified with and would want around her more for guidance and encouragement. Newsome picked out the character of Kira Nerys from the series Deep Space Nine. The latter was a Bajoran resistance fighter in the show, part of the rebellion for their independence. Played by Nana Visitor throughout the series run, Nerys does have a rebellious mode, suspicious of Star Trek command, but also deeply loyal to her people. Here is what Newsome had today about the character:
“Deep Space Nine is my Trek. If I wasn’t in Lower Decks, Deep Space Nine would forever be my favorite…And Kira is such a hardcore badass…Kira is incredible and I feel like anytime I was doubting or confused or whatever, she’d be like, ’You know who you are!’ She would give me the most stern incredible pep talk. That’s what I would need in my life.”
There are some who would consider drawing glowing comparisons between a Star Trek character and Antifa in poor taste. Though I suppose it depends what one thinks of the latter. Antifa proclaims to be an anti-fascist group, now synonymous with protests (sometimes violent) in response to a number of different causes. There is much debate about the centralization of the group and its ultimate goals. At times, they have also been seen as a peaceful arm of anti-state and anti-centralization power. Again, by nature, they are autonomous and therefore tough to pin down on actual scope and purpose. It would appear that in her comparison Newsome is comparing Nerys to the aspects of Antifa that are fighting against larger governments and totalitarian control. That is what the character fought for in the series.
Whether the comparison between Kira Nerys and Antifa is apt is probably beside the point. It is unlikely that Tawny Newsome was trying to drum up any real controversy by citing the perceived overlap. Nerys was a part of all seven seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and remains a fan favorite because of her fire and charge. It is likely these were the attributes Newsome saw as virtuous even if the Antifa comparison may have missed the mark. Heck, by the end of the show Nerys is basically a commander in Starfleet, promoted all the way up the chain. This kind of outcome does not exactly scream Antifa resistance fighter. She was a major part of the structure of the entire operation.
As for Tawny Newsome, her role in Star Trek: Lower Decks is almost the opposite of politically charged. The animated series is a comedy through and through, almost a send-up of the entire Star Trek franchise in its tone and stories. It follows the unsung group of folks on a Starfleet ship, those who work in the belly of the beast, in the titular lower decks of the craft. It will be interesting to see if there is any blowback for her recent comparison of Nerys to Antifa or if other Deep Space Nine folks would see it the same way.