LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 04:  Actresses Nichelle Nichols (L) and Whoopi Goldberg speak during the "Tribute to Nichelle Nichols" panel at the 15th annual official Star Trek convention at the Rio Hotel & Casino on August 4, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Why Whoopi Goldberg Was Determined To Get A Role
In Star
Trek: TNG
Whoopi Goldberg was determined to be on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" as soon as she learned ‌it was being made. In a 2019 podcast interview, Goldberg explained that the inspiration for her decision to pursue acting came from Nichelle Nichols' portrayal of Lt. Nyota Uhura in "Star Trek: The Original Series."
When Goldberg first saw Nichols on television as a little girl, it was the first time she had ever seen a black person depicted in the science fiction genre. So when her friend LeVar Burton told her ‌he had been cast in "The Next Generation," she begged him, "'Will you tell them that I want to be a part of it because ...' and I explained the whole thing about Lt. Uhura."
After a few months, Burton told Goldberg that Gene Roddenberry, the show's creator, didn't believe him. When they called Roddenberry, she explained why she wanted to be on the show, stating, "'Because do you not know that before Lt. Uhura there were no Black people in the future? [...] I just want to be part of that thing that says, 'Yes, we will be in the future.'"