Power Rangers Film To Introduce First LGBTQ Ranger
Ever since the casting for the new Power Rangers film was announced, it’s continued to dominate headlines with how diverse it’s rebooted ranger lineup has become. In the original American made TV series from the 90s, Saban always promoted a diverse cast but failed to step away from obvious stereotypes. Their only Asian character played by the late Thuy Trang was the Yellow Ranger. Their only black character played by Walter Jones was the Black Ranger. How much more on the nose could they have been? Jones’ character also became known for breaking out into a hip hop dances during fight sequences and speaking in “urban” vernacular. Despite the representation in diverse faces, it’s still a step backwards when your most prominent characters are just laughable stereotypes of themselves.
Close to twenty five years later, Saban and Lionsgate are pulling out extra stops to promote how progressive their storyline has become in a world campaigning for representation in all aspects. While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, director Dean Israelite (Project Almanac) revealed that the film will introduce it’s first prominent LGBTQ character making it the first big budget superhero film to do so. During the film’s second act, the Yellow Ranger Trini Kwan is coming to terms with her sexual orientation. One character will assume she’s having “boyfriend problems” then will soon realize that perhaps she’s actually having “girlfriend problems”. It’s a subtle moment but the director assures audiences that it is pivotal for the entire film.
The Yellow Ranger will be portrayed by Latina Pop Singer and actress Becky G. Read below what the director had to say about the character’s journey in the film:
“For Trini, she’s really questioning a lot about who she is. She hasn’t really figured it out yet. I think what’s great about that scene and what that scene propels for the rest of the movie is, ‘That’s OK’. The movie is saying, ‘That’s OK’ and all of the kids have to own who they are and find their tribe.”
David Yost is an openly gay actor who portrayed Billy The Blue Ranger in the original television series. In recent years, he revealed that he left the show after being the victim of harassment and bullying over his sexual orientation but now he is expressing his seal of approval for how inclusive the rebooted Power Rangers film has turned out to be:
“They really stepped up to the plate. I think so many people in the LGBTQI community are going to be excited to see that representation.”
It’s also important to note that the director has only stated that the Yellow Ranger is only questioning her sexual orientation at the moment but no updated news has confirmed how the character chooses to self identify. It’s important to realize that “Gay” is not the only word to describe a non heterosexual individual. LGBTQI is an acronym that represents many types of sexual orientations that people choose to live by and in the fight for equal representation in media, we must all be mindful of that.
Power Rangers boasts a diverse cast that also includes Dacre Montgomery as Jason the Red Ranger, Naomi Scott as Kimberly the Pink Ranger, RJ Cyler as Billy the Blue Ranger, Ludi Lin as Zack the Black Ranger, Elizabeth Banks as the villainous Rita Repulsa, Bryan Cranston as Zordon and Bill Hader as the voice of Alpha 5. What do you think of the director’s choice to feature a prominent LGBT character? Who are some of your favorite LGBT superhero characters? Let us know in the comments below.
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter
Power Rangers morphs into theaters this Friday, March 24.
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