One of television’s most controversial moments almost happened very differently. In the Star Trek episode in “Plato’s Step-children”, the crew encounters a race of sadistic, telepathic aliens that based their society on Ancient Greek ideals. Their leader was dying and they send a distress call, that is intercepted by the Enterprise. Requiring the aid of Dr. McCoy they request that the doctor stay behind, and would allow the ship and the rest of her crew to leave. Kirk refuses, and they aliens use their powers to humiliate Kirk, and force him and Spock to act like court jesters, even torturing Spock to the point he feels emotion. They even used their powers to bring LT. Nyota Uhura, and Nurse Christine Chapel down from the Enterprise to continue their pleasure.
It was in this moment when the Platonians force Kirk and Uhura to kiss and force Spock and Christine to do the same. Today this would be nothing , simply a guy kissing a girl. However, in 1967, when the episode aired, it was a huge area of consternation as Kirk was played by a white man, and Uhura was played African-American woman. In fact, TV Historians note that it was the first interracial kiss in television history.
The original script called for Spock to be the one to kiss Uhura, however, Nichelle Nichols, who played the character in the original series, recalled in Star Trek: “Where No One Has Gone Before: A History in Pictures,
“My understanding is Bill Shatner took one look at the scene and said, ‘No you will not! If anyone’s going to be part of the first interracial kiss in television history, it’s going to be me!’ So they rewrote it.”