The movement for inclusion and representation of all types of people continues to make waves and break new ground. This time around the frontier moves beyond the superhero/action adventure genre in the upcoming Power Rangers movie.
Yep, one of the Power Rangers will become cinema’s first openly gay superhero, and another will be on the autism spectrum!
The news broke earlier today, much to the surprise of fans and moviegoers everywhere. “Trini Kwan,” the Yellow Ranger, portrayed by Becky G., will apparently be a lesbian in the film, but a fledgling one, meaning she is just coming to realize and accept her sexual orientation. Meanwhile, “Billy Cranston,” the Blue Ranger, played by RJ Cyler is on the autism spectrum. This definitely falls in line with the film’s motif of the Rangers being outcasts and different in high school.
Power Rangers is breaking down a barrier no superhero movie has before. The Lionsgate reboot of the ’90s children’s TV show is the first big-budget superhero movie to feature an LGBT protagonist.
During Power Rangers‘ second act, there’s a scene in which the titular heroes learn that the Yellow Ranger, Trini (Becky G), is coming to terms with her sexual orientation, with one character assuming she’s having “boyfriend problems,” and soon realizing that perhaps she’s actually having “girlfriend problems.” It’s a small moment, but one director Dean Israelite calls “pivotal” for the entire film.
“For Trini, really she’s questioning a lot about who she is,” Israelite tells The Hollywood Reporter. “She hasn’t fully 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.”
via Daily Mail
The Lionsgate reboot made some major changes to its superheroes’ backstories, which could be a hit or miss with audiences – but will surely be a step in the right direction for inclusion of LGBTQI and differently-abled on-screen characters.
The decision to have a questioning teen in a lead role is rare, however, a recent study may have influenced how Hollywood portrays some of its protagonists.
Dr. Stacy Smith‘s study about inequality in films at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, shed a light on representation in Hollywood.
The study found only 19 characters represented as gay, lesbian, or bisexual in the top 100 films of 2014.
We are all for inclusion and feel this reboot of the series may be trying to make up for how it treated the original Blue Ranger/Billy Cranston played by David Yost in the nineties. He revealed a few years ago he left the series due to the homophobia behind the scenes. We will definitely be in a theater this Friday catching up with our “Breakfast Club” turned superheroes. Will you?
Written By: Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning