Lately, great strides have been made for diversity in TV and movies. Rogue One featured a multicultural cast. The lead character of Star Trek Discovery is going to be played by an African American woman. In Supergirl, Kara’s sister came out as gay, and her relationship with Maggie has become one of the highlights of the show. But now, the Power Rangers is making great efforts for inclusivity. In their first comeback movie, they’ve represented several marginalized groups, including those who are neurodivergent.
The Blue Power Ranger, Billy Cranston, played by R.J. Cyler, is on the Autism spectrum. This is a huge step forward, representing people with autism in a positive light, and portraying them as powerful superheroes in a major movie. It’s also important to those who have little experience with autism because it increases their awareness of it, and helps them become more familiar with it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 68 children are estimated to being on the Autism spectrum. More and more kids are being identified than ever before.
With so many kids being on the spectrum, it’s great to see them be given a voice in Hollywood. In an interview with Access Hollywood, Becky G, who plays Trini Kwan, the Yellow Power Ranger, talks about having a brother that was diagnosed with autism at an early age. She’s happy that the Power Rangers movie has given him a superhero that he can relate to and look up to.
Blue Power Ranger Billy, despite his social awkwardness, becomes the heart of the group. He really loves being a Power Ranger, and his passion for his new identity is truly admirable. One of the reasons he loves the role so much is because all his life, he’s never fit in, but being a Power Ranger has given him a group of friends who make him feel like he belongs. Not only does he win over the hearts of the other Rangers, he wins over the audience’s hearts. How can you not like this guy who’s only wish is to fit in and have friends that truly care about him?
In some ways, he advances in his training before the others. I don’t want to say too much here because I’m trying to make this article spoiler free, but it’s pretty awesome.
The LGBT community is represented through Trini, the Yellow Ranger, when she reveals that she’s dated females. This character (as well as The Blue Ranger) shows a realistic depiction of people in our world today. In her interview with Access Hollywood, Becky G. says that “it was an honor to play such a character with real substance.”
The Power Rangers features an ethically diverse cast. Naomi Scott, who plays Kimberly Hart, the Pink Power Ranger, is a British actress and singer, but happens to also be of Indian descent on her mother’s side. Ludi Lin, who plays Zack Taylor, the Black Power Ranger, is a Chinese-Canadian actor. Becky G is an American actress, singer, and model of Mexican descent, and RJ Cyler is African American.
Bryan Cranston, Bill Hader, and Elizabeth Banks also play supporting roles in this film.