Power Rangers may be based on an old property, but it’s breaking new ground.
The upcoming reboot features a character who’s being touted as the first LGBTQ protagonist in a big-budget superhero movie.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the second act features a scene in which Trini (the Yellow Ranger, played by Becky G) is having trouble with her love life. One character assumes she’s talking about “boyfriend problems” before realizing she’s actually referring to “girlfriend problems.”
Speaking to the publication, director Dean Israelite described the scene as a “pivotal” one that ties into the film’s overall themes:
For Trini, really she’s questioning a lot about who she is. 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.
The franchise has come a long way since the 1990s, when David Yost (who played the Blue Ranger) quit the series over sexual harassment about his orientation. “They really stepped up to the plate,” said the actor of the new film. “I think so many people in the LGBTQI community are going to be excited to see that representation.”
Mainstream cinema has started taking baby steps toward inclusivity in recent years. Last year’s Star Trek Beyond and Independence Day: Resurgence both featured gay characters, and last weekend’s Beauty and the Beast famously featured an “exclusively gay moment” for supporting character Lefou (played by Josh Gad).
However, Hollywood still has a long ways to go – as evidenced by the fact that the mere mention of a female character’s “girlfriend” in a superhero movie counts as a major step forward for LGBT inclusivity. Here’s hoping this baby step forward is just the first of many.
Power Rangers opens this Friday.