My how times have changed.
First we got a live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast that featured the first Disney’s first gay character and interracial kiss.
Now, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Dean Israelite reveals that one of the Power Rangers in the upcoming reboot identifies as LGBTQ.
According to Israelite, Yellow Ranger Trini (played by Becky G in the film) has a small, “pivotal” scene happens in the film’s second act that gives a nod to her coming to terms with her sexual orientation.
“For Trini, really she’s questioning a lot about who she is,” Israelite said to THR. “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.”
LGBTQ acceptance in films has come a long way in the past decade and this certainly isn’t the first film to feature such a character, but the goal of featuring such a chacracter in a mass release blockbuster like Power Rangers is done in hopes of making so many struggling kids feel less alone and attempt to help normalize the sexual identification in conservative areas of the country.
“LGBTQ youth deserve a happily ever after just like everyone else,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told Glamour. “LGBTQ images in films can be a lifeline for young people living in cities and countries where LGBTQ acceptance is not the norm. The film industry lags behind television when it comes to LGBTQ stories, so while these may seem like small moments, they are actually big steps.”
Former Blue Ranger, David Yost expressed support for the new Power Ranger and had a message for haters.
“I would really encourage you to open up your hearts. If you want to push any kind of religious, conservative agenda, I would just encourage people to follow the dictates of the Bible to “be silent and know that I am God.” If you do that, there’s no way that you can have a judgement against another human being,” Yost told TooFab in an interview.
Yost says that he walked off the set after being “called a faggot one too many times,” and alleged that producers would question his sexuality behind his back.
Power Rangers will arrive in theaters March 24 and is currently looking at an opening weekend gross of around $35 million. Certainly nostalgia will play a heavy factor into that box office total but word of mouth will ultimately decide whether the film is a success.