In addition to its racially diverse cast, the Power Rangers reboot will also feature an LGBT member in Trini, the Yellow Ranger.
Despite being in the year 2017, LGBTQ rights are still a point of contention. In fact, not only do members of the community feel oppression on a daily basis, but they’re also kept from seeing representations of themselves in the media. They exist, and yet, most films fail to depict them. And when they do, even in the slightest roles, there’s always some amount of blow back. Unfortunately, this blow back gives Hollywood a reason to delay representation.
But not Power Rangers.
The Power Rangers film, which will hopefully started a resurgence of the popular kids’ series about samurai superheroes, plans to put an LGBTQ teen front and center. While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, director Dean Israelite promises that this arc will feature a “pivotal” moment in the movie as Trini, the Yellow Ranger, faces some “girlfriend problems.”
"“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.”"
Honestly, progress doesn’t mean making a film like Carol every day. The little things matter, too. And to put a badass like a Power Ranger on the big screen just to say, “That’s okay,” will permeate young minds and just be there as something to comfort them. It seems like it’s not there to make a statement, but more as an acknowledgment to the diversity of the world. It’s just like having a team of five members where less than half the group is white.
Most likely, the film will make more money overseas than domestically. And hopefully, it will serve as a good indication to Hollywood that representation won’t hurt your movies. For example, Bill Condon’s overblown remarks about LeFou didn’t stop Beauty and the Beast from destroying the box office this weekend. And he said there were two “exclusively” gay scenes, which translated to like eye contact and a smirk.
When Power Rangers hit theaters this weekend, Becky G’s character will be the “first big-budget superhero movie to feature an LGBT protagonist.” Which means, if you’re on the fence about seeing the film, go.
It’s like every time a diverse film comes out, like let’s say Hidden Figures, you have to go watch it. If you want to see more representation, you have to support what’s out there or else studios look at the numbers and think it’s not working. That’s true of anything: female leads, racial diversity, LGTBQ characters, etc.
It’s 2017 — an LGBTQ character shouldn’t be so groundbreaking anymore. And yet, here we are.