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Power Rangers Movie Director Explains Making Trini LGBT

Saban’s Power Rangers movie is now out on home video – on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.

And one of the film’s most talked about aspects has been the inclusion of the first LGBT superhero, as Trini the Yellow Ranger (portrayed by Becky G.) questions her sexual orientation during one of the film’s more intimate scenes.

The news sent shock waves through pop culture for being the first move of its kind, and for Director Dean Israelite’s boldness in taking on a very real, and current representation of the world today.

In the home video’s Audio Commentary featuring Israelite and Writer John Gatkins, the duo explained why they decided to have one of their teenagers question her sexuality.

“I wanted to feel like these teenagers were reflective of 2017. That was my continued argument – that come on, it’s 2017. Do I think that in time to come we’ll have a whole team of gay or questioning superheroes? Sure, why not. It’s the world we live in and we need it to reflect it. And I think we handled it with as much grace as we could. And [actress] Becky G. did such an amazing job and it was important to her too.” – Writer John Gatkins

Despite having known from the outset that they wanted to take one of their characters down the LGBT route, both Israelite and Gatkins knew that such a move would have to be well calculated due to the nature of tackling a hot present day topic.

“It was a lot to ask of the Saban company and Lionsgate to go and scratch the surface of this issue.”  – Writer John Gatkins

“In a movie of this size, you don’t want to divide your audience. You know, there is a box office component to this that is really important. And it’s very dangerous to put something as controversial as this is in the movie. So it’s very bold of everyone.” – Director Dean Israelite

But Power Rangers is a franchise that has always stood for equality and diversity. And for a movie re-imagining a brand that’s been built on 25 years of fairness and teamwork, it only made sense for the production team to break through a glass ceiling with the first LGBT superhero. And as Israelite explains, the moment when the decision was finally confirmed, the feeling was both memorable and rewarding.

“I remember when we were finally in the editing room with everyone from Saban and Lionsgate, and we looked at the [campfire] scene, we all looked at each other and said ‘Yep, we’re going to do this’. And one of our producers started crying because it was such a profound moment for all of us. I’ll never forget that because it made us all feel that yeah we’re in the movie business, and we’re making a movie, and it’s entertainment, but there’s something important too about this.” – Director Dean Israelite

As for Becky G., the actress who took on the monumental role, she expressed in an exclusive interview (re-watch here) that she couldn’t be more proud to play Trini, and hopes that her character will be the first of many in LGBT-represented characters in Hollywood.

“A part of me was like ‘What’s the big deal?’. A part of me hopes we can get to a place where anybody can be a superhero and they don’t have to be labeled as something. The creatives, and the rest of my cast mates, did a lot to make sure that these characters did touch on these topics, and to make sure that we were a true reflection of the people that would be watching.” – Becky G., who portrayed Trini the Yellow Ranger

Fans can click here to order Saban’s Power Rangers movie – available now with tons of behind-the-scenes features on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.

And be sure to follow Power Rangers NOW on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates on Saban’s Power Rangers movie.

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  1. “That was my continued argument – that come on, it’s 2017.”

    I dismiss any explanation that uses the current year fallacy as invalid.

    I mean, come on, it’s 2017. Only about 4% of the U.S. population identify as LGBT. So the odds of one of them being gay is actually very small.

    See. I can do it too.

    “The news sent shock waves through pop culture for being the first move of its kind”

    Yeah. That’s not why. People are fed up with the forced diversity of LGBT characters being shoved into everything nowadays. “But they need equal representation.” Considering their very small percentage of the population they are over represented.

    As Becky G said, “A part of me was like ‘What’s the big deal?’. A part of me hopes we can get to a place where anybody can be a superhero and they don’t have to be labeled as something.” Then they shouldn’t have labeled her before hand. They should have just kept their mouths shut and just let it happen. But they needed something to help promote the movie and in doing so used her being LGBT as her only defining trait. It annoyed more people than it satisfied. Personally it annoyed me because it was a useless change that added nothing to her character. Teenagers have angst all the time with their parents. Most is not related to them being gay. She didn’t even come right out and say she was gay. It was just poorly eluded to. So it wasn’t even that bold of a move to begin with. If the only defining trait of a character is that they are gay then you are a shit writer.

    Was Trini being gay a deal breaker for me? No. Her “reveal” was such a brush off moment it probably would have went over a lot of people’s heads if they didn’t try to make such a big deal about it beforehand.

    And if you thought making Trini gay “sent shock waves” and upset fans then wait until you try this ridiculous idea of making Tommy a girl for the sequel.

    Now I’m quite sure this comment will get a lot of hate. I’m sure I’ll be called a racist, sexist, misogynist, bigot. All for simply having my own critical opinions.

    1. They never promoted that, people who saw the movie did, just says before release. If they wanted to point that out they would’ve done months prior. Instead it was a surprise that got leaked and became headline news for being the first of its kind, that’s all.

      Sure the market is very small, but when they get something like this it makes all the difference in the world for them, its almost life changing. This kind of thing is more about drastically benefitting the lives of those few then bringing or forcing acceptance to the masses. Because it shows that a movie and a property this big accepts them as anyone else, which is huge. I mean it was the same when we were little, the show got a bunch of headlines for Zack being the first black superhero and the show’s general diversity while we kids were just taking it for granted without realizing any of the adult drama going on. The show made us better people for it and now the movie is just doing the same for new generations in 2017. That’s what they mean by the “its 2017” comment. It may be only 4% but chances are you’ve known or interacted with at least 1 gay person in your life, and they deserve to be treated like everybody else so in order to get there we need properties showing them being treated equally, otherwise they’ll just keep having bad interactions with straight people. Many of us don’t need a movie for this but many also had to take a good long hard look at themselves in the mirror. I know this because that’s exactly what happened when Ellie from Last of Us was revealed to be gay and homophobic people who were invested in her character as a daughter really had to analyze themselves.

    2. You’re opinion isn’t really critical as much as it is “missing the point”. Its not about how small the market is. And regardless of how you labelled yourself, if you have a problem with Trini as a character, than her being gay should have nothing to do with it. Since that specifically was what annoyed you than you’re part of the problem as is everyone else who found it annoying. The character I found to have the weakest writing/depth was Kimberly and she didn’t have any kind of headlines or controversy. Trini was definitely not the weakest.

    3. I like how you upset this one guy so much he had to reply to you twice, and even after shooting down current year his only real “point” was “but it’s 2017”. lol

      You’ve made the exact same rational arguments that most ranger fans have made, those who both liked and hated the movie, but you’re “missing the point”. lol

  2. I am not prejudice in any way, but my opinion is that the original yellow ranger was not gay. If you are going to do MMPR with Trini then she was not gay. Just like Tommy Oliver is a guy!!! If you change the story line it is not MMPR!!! Look what happened to Jem and the Holograms!

    1. If you were making that argument about the character changes in general I’d understand, since they are mostly very different. But to point to this specifically is definitely suspicious especially since its one of the more progressive changes in spirit of the franchise’s inclusion/diversity.

  3. Maybe the unedited version of the scene has her coming out but in the scene I saw she didn’t comment on if she was or not. Trini ignored the question.

  4. When I was a teenager, I wasn’t sure about my sexuality and did identify as not straight and had difficulty exploring who I was. As a queer person, I’m going to confirm that the filmmakers accurately portrayed a teenager who’s struggling with their sexuality. I’d love it if straight people didn’t tear down this portrayal of the character because they don’t know what it’s like to watch day in and day out an overwhelming amount of media that excludes their community. *Surprise, surprise!!* Most adaptations of other stories made into different formats are rarely ever faithful to the original source material. This is why the film was written with different iterations of our rangers; it’s important to have diversity across these characters to stay faithful to the source material. Welcome to 2017, where Saban has been highlighting diversity and pushing boundaries since 1993.

  5. I’m honestly really sad that we may not get a sequel. Now I think that the inclusion of an lgbt character was good I felt it hurt us at the box office. Because I cant understand how china didn’t go out and see this movie i thought they would have liked it. I think their view of it may have prevented the masses to come see it. Here in America the film did ok but it failed to get parents to bring their kids to see it I think because of it. I hate having to say this and I don’t mean to be an asshole but this is my opinion on it.

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