The upcoming Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (or just Power Rangers, as they’re now known) remake got some heat for whitewashing Rita Repulsa, but it’s opening up in a different way with what’s being called the first openly LGBTQ characters in an action movie:
SPOILERS BELOW so beware:
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.”
While some who have seen Power Rangers already say this is overhyping a tiny moment in the finished film it is a nice vindication for the original Blue Ranger actor David Yost, who left the series over harassment over his sexual orientation. And he likes the new moment:
“They really stepped up to the plate,” says Yost. “I think so many people in the LGBTQI community are going to be excited to see that representation.”
This joins the LeFou gay moment in the blockbuster Beauty and the Beast remake and the ongoing queer storylines on Supergirl as plotlines that open up a more enlightened view of gender in our nerd/superhero media. The films have yet to catch up to the comics, though, where there are plenty of openly LGBTQA+ characters, from the original, Northstar, to Jughead to Midnighter and Apollo to Harley Quinn.
Whaddaya say, readers? Should there be more openly LGBTQ characters in superhero movies?
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.