home More Power Rangers: A Diversity Pioneer In 2017

Power Rangers: A Diversity Pioneer In 2017

In 2017, Power Rangers made history by redefining diversity in a superhero franchise.

As police academy cadet Jack Landors once said, “Heroes come in all colors”.

Landors was, of course, both a man of color and a hero himself – an African American and the Red S.P.D. Power Ranger in 2005. While Landors was certainly right that heroes come in all colors, what he failed to mention was that heroes also come in all genders, orientations, disabilities, and sizes too.

And when it comes to representing all walks of life in a superhero franchise, Power Rangers redefined what it meant to illustrate diversity among superheroes in 2017.

 

Actress Becky G., who portrays Trini, the first LGBT superhero on the big screen.

For starters, Power Rangers brought the first LGBT superhero to the big screen when Saban’s Power Rangers movie hit theaters in March. Trini the Yellow Ranger, portrayed by actress Becky G., transformed from a 90’s chick questioning her fear of heights to a modern-day representation of what so many people across the world are experiencing: a fear of coming out for who they truly are. Trini not only proved that it’s acceptable to be LGBT, but that people of any sexual orientation can be a superhero. The first big-screen LGBT superhero caused a media frenzy that swept the nation, and it’s both tremendous and gratifying that a franchise like Power Rangers was the first to take the plunge.

 

Actor RJ Cyler, who portrays Billy, an Autistic superhero.

Saban’s Power Rangers movie also introduced a superhero with disabilities, as Billy the Blue Ranger, portrayed by actor RJ Cyler, was revealed to be coping with autism. A spectrum disorder that surveyed parents suggest is diagnosed among 1 in every 45 children, autism didn’t stop Billy from proving that those with the disorder are no different from anyone else, and capable of saving the world. Billy not only held his own as part of the team, he arguably stole the movie as the film’s on-screen MVP.

 

The first male Pink Ranger and female Black Ranger in BOOM! Studios’ Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic series.

Outside the motion picture indsutry, Power Rangers made major strides to defy common tropes that have plagued the franchise since the 1990’s. For decades, fans have assimilated the Pink Ranger with being “the hot girl” on the team. But in 2017, the Pink Ranger became a dude, as comic book publisher BOOM! Studios delivered to fans the first male Pink Ranger. Daniel O’Halloran, a muscular political activist from the year 1969, became the first guy to don the illustrious pink spandex, proving that there is no mandated correlation between Ranger color and gender.

To sweeten the deal, BOOM! Studios also made history with the first ever female Black Ranger.

 

Actor Peter Sudarso, who portrays Marv, the first Asian Red Ranger.

Power Rangers HyperForce, the first official licensed property to live-stream a table-top role playing game on Twitch, brought fans the first Asian Red Ranger, a plea which fans have echoed over social media for the better part of the last decade. Peter Sudarso, who portrays Marv the Red Ranger, officially entered the books as the first team leader to be of Asian descent. While the move will hardly stop fans from continuing to clamor for an Asian Red Ranger on the franchise’s iconic TV show, Marv still marks a considerable step forward towards the idea of an oriental team leader of the Power Rangers.

The table-top role playing game also introduced the first plus-sized Power Ranger, as actor Paulie Schrier made his first return to the franchise since portraying the beloved Bulk on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to become Jack the Yellow Ranger on Power Rangers HyperForce. Jack proved that heroes come in all sizes, and based on his character’s strength, sometimes bigger is better. For fans looking for a plus-sized Power Ranger to appear on the TV show, the end of their wait may be in sight as Japan’s Uchuu Sentai Kyuranger, the heavyweight favorite to become a Power Rangers season in 2019, features a plus-sized Black Ranger with a background in wrestling.

 

Actor Paul Schrier, who portrays Jack, the first plus-sized Power Ranger.

With the first LGBT Ranger, Autistic Ranger, male Pink Ranger, Asian Red Ranger, and plus-sized Ranger, Power Rangers achieved a number of noteworthy accomplishments in 2017 and destroyed a number of outdated cultural barriers along the way.

For 24 years, Power Rangers has managed to prove that it’s more than a Saturday morning kids’ TV show. It’s more than a well drawn comic book line, and it’s more than a series of plastic toys driving people mad over paint controversies. Power Rangers is, and has always been, a pioneer in representing diversity, proving that regardless of one’s ethnicity, gender, orientation, or beyond, anyone can be a hero.

Yet make no mistake, while Power Rangers in 2017 dared to charter into territories that both the franchise, and superhero genre as a whole, have never entered before, there still exists many barriers to be conquered in today’s world. Perhaps Power Rangers will continue to knock those down in 2018, and perhaps other super hero franchises will join our spandex-clad superheroes in ensuring equal representation across all walks of life.

For now, we salute Saban Brands, Lionsgate, BOOM! Studios, Hyper RPG, and all parties who made these teenagers with attitude a leader in diversity in 2017.

Thank you, Power Rangers.

Jack Landors was right. Heroes do come in all colors.

But they also come in all sizes, genders, orientations, and disabilities too.

47

    1. We don’t have to worry about. But I’m sure you would have been fine with a pedophile in the US Senate and I’m sure you LOVE the admitted sexual predator that is the current President. Get out of this fandom and go to Hell you hypocrital bastdard

    2. We don’t have to worry about that. But I’m sure you would have been fine with a pedophile in the US Senate and I’m sure you LOVE the admitted sexual predator that is the current President. Get out of this fandom and go to Hell you hypocrital bastdard

      1. People like you are everything that’s wrong with the PR fandom, you see the BS in front of your face, and you eat it up because you love the attention, well Congratulations! I’m sure Haim Saban is very proud of you and the owner of Power Rangers Now for defending him like good little solders, maybe he’ll see your comment and pay you too.

        1. How is it you are even a fan of this series? If diversity & acceptance boils your blood so much, how can you even stand to look at Power Rangers, or any modern adventure & scince fiction? Or do you just like to imagine every single Ranger is white, straight and Christian? Why don’t you just get lost. I’m sure you have a klan meeting or Nazi rally to get back to.

          1. The President isn’t a sexual predator.

            Quit making up false crimes.

            He made a comment about how groupies will just let Rockstars grab anything they want and won’t care.

            1. I sure hope women stay far away from you. If you believe men have some right to grab a woman without consent, then you are just as vile and evil the president. So I say to you as well, get out of this fandom. You and your bigoted beliefs are not welcome or supported here.

              1. I love how you’re commenting as anonymous, that’s exactly what those useless SJW zombies do in order to get their useless point across. They scream about loving diversity, but snap whenever someone has a different opinion. They’re all spineless cowards, and you wonder why America is on the verge of a second civil war. People like you who refuse to acknowledge the agendas in what’s going on, all for the sake of feelings, because you’re not disciplined enough to see the truth. There are videos on YouTube right now that break down what’s going on, the gay agenda, the feminist agenda, the emasculation agenda, should I go on? Of course not because you probably don’t even know what the basic concept of listening even means, you allow anger and fear to control how you think, that’s another problem you have. Whoever you are behind the computer screen, I would strongly advise you to seek some mental help because either you’re sick in the head, or you’re hanging out with the wrong crowd. Stop trusting those people, do your own research, and you’ll see the truth right in front of you. Saban could care less about diversity and useless sheep like you. SJW’s in general are a disgrace to the Power Rangers fandom and humanity as a whole, and unless people like you change, you will always be in denial. And news flash, pride ALWAYS comes before the fall!

  1. Please don’t make articles about this.

    One of the best things about Power Rangers always being diverse is we didn’t have to talk about it like it’s some gargantuan thing since it was always there.

    Something that isn’t a new concept or important to discuss only irritates people when we get articles like this.

    1. The people who run Power Rangers Now are shills for Saban, all they care about is making money and forcing their agendas, morality no longer matters. Best thing we can do is boycott.

  2. Please speak for yourself. We absolutely should talk about it and celebrate it. And this coming from a diehard fan for all 25 years

    1. No, we shouldn’t.

      Surface traits don’t matter. The only parts people should care about is the characters for what they do in the series and their personalities, not what color their skin is, gender, or sexual preference.

      1. This is a series that is primarily aimed towards kids and it’s important that they see people who look like them on television. Representation is important, especially in a show about being a hero.

        1. And it’s been diverse since day 1

          People making a big deal about it only makes the community look like. A bunch of SJWs who only care about surface traits.

        2. Also children see people like them as heroes already; they’re called humans.

          Saying a kid can’t look up to someone because of being a different ethnicity is pretty messed up.

          I’d take Leo over any other red ranger despite being ethnicity even if there’s a red ranger the same shade as Me.

          Surface traits don’t make the hero. Actions are.

            1. It’s absolutely moronic.

              Saying a kid can only identify with someone of their same gender or ethnicity is extremely fucked up.

  3. People are really complaining about this article when it represents everything good in the world? You people will complain about anything

    1. I’m complaining that people are celebrating surface traits like they’re what matter.

      You don’t have to have a black super hero for a black kid to like a super hero. Bruce Wayne is as straight white male as it gets and he’s beloved all across the spectrum of people.

      Meanwhile pushing surface traits over personality and character gets you abominations like America Chavez

      1. Again, this article acts like it’s a big deal when PR have since the beginning been diverse.

        What a character’s skin color, gender, or sexual preference DOES NOT MATTER to being a super hero.

        Anyone can like any super hero regardless of being vastly different people. It’s ridiculous to think otherwise.

      2. Billy was autistic and had the best personality/character depth in the movie. You can do both you know, he at least deserves to be celebrated.

  4. The simple truth is this. Kids today know they should be able to grow up to be anything that want and can dream of. However, they also know that we all live in a world where people are hated, bullied, oppressed and even killed because they are different. Therefore it is important to showcase successes like Power Rangers, in showing just how diverse the heroes are. To give actual hope and inspiration to the children watching, that they too can be heroes, despite the challenges and threats they may face in life.

    If this were a perfect world, then articles like this would not be necessary. But this is not a perfect world. Every day people of different genders, religions, sexualities, sizes, colors, and ethnicities are persecuted for just being who they are. So yes, articles like this are necessary to show that being different is not a curse, but that all differences are meant to be respected.

    1. That’s fine.

      As I said, the PR have been diverse since day one but being diverse wasn’t a big topic because they didn’t see themselves as a group of variously different ways of diversity heroes, but JUST heroes.

      Putting these traits on a pedastal only make a them look like they’re crazy stand out attention grabbers instead of just normal things.

      The diversity isn’t the problem, acting like it’s what’s important is though a problem.

      1. The movie doesn’t make a big deal out of it, just points out Billy and Trini for brief moments because as he said, those kinds of people are persecuted in the real world so reflecting that struggle for them just makes the movie feel more real. Acting like the world is completely cool with LGBT and autistic people would just feel inauthentic, and Mighty Morphin already had a lot of criticism for their kids being perfect role models.

  5. Rolling my eyes at people bashing this article.

    You have to be able to see it to be it. And PR has long been a source of inspiration for kids across all backgrounds BECAUSE they see their own “superficial traits” projected on screen. So yes, race, sexual orientation, and color does matter.

    Seriously have no idea how someone can be a fan of a squeaky clean, hyper diverse group of teenagers that espouse the virtues of recycling and being kind, while at the same time complaining about so called “SJW”s and other alt-right nonsense.

    Hate to break it to you. The Power Rangers ARE the SJWs you’re whining about…

    1. Your lack of understanding and comprehension is funny.

      This article literally looks like it’s trying to get diversity points.

      PR has always been diverse. These new things aren’t a big deal or anything relatively new.

      They fight monsters, not normal world problems. This is very apparent in the comics.

      1. “Lack of understanding and comprehension”

        *eyeroll*

        Enjoy expending energy complaining about SJWs angling for “diversity points”. It’s just an article with someone celebrating what they see as a force for good. Not some liberal scheme.

        Feel free to go back to r/redPill and let everyone know how you owned me with your superior intellect.

        1. It’s literally putting surface traits up on a parade like they’re what’s important when they’re not important to a super hero story.

    2. Exactly, a black child may love Tommy the most but may have never been pulled in if not for Zack. These things matter regardless of how little.

  6. Also saying you have to be the same ethnicity or orientation as a character to identify with them is pretty messed up itself.

    People should identify with characters for their personality, character, and actions.

    You’re acting like the more important aspect of them is their surface traits, which is again, pretty messed up.

  7. I hope we see LGBT+ Rangers & Rangers with Disabilities (also actors/actresses who are LGBT+ & with a disability) which probably won’t happen because it’s Saban, but there is still hope.

    I’m gay but also disabled and I hope both get represented in a show that I love because many, many shows & movies already have & I’m glad but Power Rangers will probably not come into the 21st Century.

      1. Marvel is dissary? Wow, it is true. Bigot supporters really do live in their own made up world. Though what is really funny, is that for someone who I would bet throws the “snowflake” insult frequently, you sure are quite upset over just an article. It’s okay, I’m sure your fellow klan members and Nazis will offer you plenty of comfort.

        1. Go look at current Marvel comic books and you’ll get the point.

          Pushing diversity characters for the sake of having diversity characters is stupid and bad writing.

          So I’m brown and that makes me a nazi for disliking people acting like surface traits are what’s important?

          1. For thinking people don’t deserve to celebrate their accomplishments in a world that hates anyone who doesn’t “fit in”, yeah I think it fits you pretty well. Why do you even visit Power Rangers sites. Aren’t info wars and breitbart more you style? You know, keeping you up to date about how the water is going to turn you gay, and that lizard people have secretly taken over the world, or that Obama was the anti-christ. So go ahead, use your leader’s favorite term and just call the site “fake news”. LOL

            But it is fun though, because for every one tiny minded fan like you or other bigot posting here, there are hundreds of fans that truly support the REAL spirit of Power Rangers, as well as countless actors, actresses, writers, producers and crewman that embody and support it as well. It if would not burn your soul to do it, I’d recommend looking up “Power Rangers NOH8”. Enjoy staying in the dark ages, the rest of us will continue to push forward and evelove in the 21st century.

            1. Being of a certain ethnicity or other surface trait isn’t an accomplishment.

              The fact you instantly say I’m somehow a nazi klan member because I don’t care about surface traits puts you as a huge bigot.

              You’re also the one who’s making these posts anonymously , you internet tough guy 😉

  8. You’re just like every other SJW trying to make others look racist and make yourself look accepting and tolerant when you’re the actual ignorant shit.

  9. Hyper Force seemed more like a joke to me, or at least more of a fan fiction type of thing where any fan can be a power ranger like if its Halloween. And the male pink ranger thing, not sure who that’s supposed to represent other than a transgender. Maybe I’m wrong and don’t get it, but what straight man would want to wear pink as their representative color? Just my honest observation, I haven’t read the comic or seen much of Hyper Force, so if there’s enlightenment on these I should have then I’m open to it.

      1. Look i know you’re a piece of shit and that’s fine but you’re a dumb conspirator. I’m tired of close minded fuckers like you saying that just because something that’s different is included it’s an agenda. It’s not an agenda, it’s writers or creators doing something different because they want to. Like they write a story and think it would be cool to include an LGBTQ character in and create drama around it. Or they write in strong female characters. It’s not an agenda, its the story they want to tell. Its what they find interesting.
        Worthless racists, sexists, or close minded people who can’t except diversity create stupid excuses to not except it and call its inclusion an agenda. Then dumbfucks like you, well un your own words “you see the BS in front of your face, and you eat it up because you love the attention.”
        Have you ever thought (i don’t think you think at all IMO) that as the world becomes more excepting and/or one person tries it, other creators who want to include characters like this are inspired or decide that they won’t recieve hate for adding what they like. Honestly people like you are really fucking stupid. Kindergarteners no Preschoolers are smarter than you. And all those people talking about conspiracies or agebdas online are just as dumb. Now I’m sorry if i’ve offended you but not because you’re a quarter decent person but because people like you are usually extremely violent so i wanna make sure you don’t feel super offended and come after me with a weapon or hire some hit man.
        Now i stand by diversity however i also agree that sexual preferences, race, religon, etc, mean nothing compared to actions. I do love that diversity is noticed and acknowledged because many despise it though i do wish we lived in a world where “those seen as different” were just as frequent in fiction and in real life as the “playing it safe” characters and thus it wouldn’t have to be a big deal. I just wish everyone could be seen as human no matter who they are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.