According to The Hollywood Reporter, the upcoming Power Rangers features a scene in which the Yellow Power Ranger’s sexuality is in question, making her the first LGBT superhero in film. The reveal apparently comes when another character asks the Yellow Power Ranger—named Trini and played by Becky G—whether she’s having “boyfriend problems,” then corrects to asking about “girlfriend problems.” If that sounds subtle, well, apparently it is. In fact, BuzzFeed’s Jarett Wieselman noted on Twitter that it barely registers. He wrote “that one could only conclude this character IS gay from reading” the article in THR, and explained that the back-and-forth plays out as such:
Power Rangers director Dean Israelite explained in an interview with THR that Trini is “questioning a lot about who she is” and “hasn’t fully figured it out yet.” He added: “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.”
This news comes on the heels of Beauty And The Beast, which before being released was touted as containing an “exclusively gay moment” involving the character LeFou. Alas, as The A.V. Club’s review explained, “his sexuality remains mostly theoretical, manifested most overtly in a two-second shot of him dancing with a man.” Similarly, Star Trek Beyond made only passing visual reference to Sulu’s husband. So while, in these cases, the filmmakers seem well-intentioned, they also seem to only nod to representation rather than wholeheartedly embracing it.
With LGBT superheroes, including some big name ones like Batwoman, far more prevalent in the pages of comic books than they are on the big screen, writers have been arguing for their inclusion for years now. Trini seems like a step in the right direction, but studios still have work to do.