Nichelle Nichols was interviewed in a special “Women of Star Trek” March 1987 issue of Starlog:
“The quality of Uhura’s character was such that you could admire her on the one hand as a woman of strength, courage and compassion, and yet she was a female female. I mean, she had legs and boobs and high cheekbones and a little waistline and different hairdos. I don’t think she’s diminished by a short skirt, boots and jade earrings.”
What was just as interesting was the editor’s column talking about a conversation he had with Nichelle, and her desire not to air dirty laundry.
While the details of contract disputes aren’t really my cup of tea, I do appreciate that some stars (and creators) have talked more openly about issues they perceived behind the scenes or improvements they wanted to their characters.
In the 1990s Nichelle also began to talk a bit more about her frustration with how Uhura’s role kept being cut back to fewer and fewer lines. And I think that was positive overall to help remind us there were people making conscious decisions about how many lines/what kind of lines and how much airtime she got. But I also appreciate her emphasis on the positive and the power of the Star Trek vision for the future. A couple Starlog issues before this Nichols was the only TOS cast member who was optimistic about TNG. Most of the others probably had to eat their words a bit on that one.