[Spoiler alert] This piece of news contains some spoilers about the movie, so be warned. With the whole Beauty and the Beast fiasco in Malaysia, a new piece of Power Rangers news has the potential to throw a spanner in the works for the release of the movie here in Malaysia. That is the recent revelation that Yellow Ranger Trini might be gay.
According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter in an interview with the movie director, Dean Israelite, Trini is “questioning a lot about who she is.” The particular scene where we’ll see this happening is in the second act of Power Rangers.
In it, the Rangers learn that the Yellow Ranger Trini, played by Becky G, is coming to terms with her sexual orientation. One character assumes she’s having “boyfriend problems,” but soon realises she’s actually having “girlfriend problems.” Although it’s a small scene according to Israelite, he says it’s “pivotal” for the entire movie.
“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,” Israelite further elaborates.
So why a spanner in the works for the Malaysian release? We’ve all seen what happened recently with Beauty and the Beast here in Malaysia. A mention by the director of the sexual orientation of Le Fou got the whole movie relooked by Malaysia’s Censorship department, Lembaga Penapisan Filem, where the “gay” scenes were cut out.
That combined with Disney’s stand to not remove said scenes has resulted in the movie being postponed indefinitely in Malaysia. So with this revelation of the Yellow Ranger’s sexual orientation, will Power Rangers meet the same fate as Beauty and the Beast? Considering the kind of reaction we got from Beauty and the Beast after the Le Fou revelation, let’s hope it doesn’t.
While the issue of straight-up LGBT characters in big, mainstream movies only been a major issue in Malaysia, there’s no denying that it has raised some eyebrows in other countries like Russia, Singapore, Hong Kong and even in the US. And with more mainstream movies giving a voice to the LGBT community by being more inclusive in their portrayals, this is an issue that will likely not go away as more movies are released.
Power Rangers will hit theatres on 23 March 2017.