Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Power Rangers: A Study on “Inclusion”

These days, if there is one word that doesn’t sit very well with most people outside the blogosphere or the Arenas of Tumpler and Reddit, its Inclusion. The ideas of diversity and inclusion in the media have been a hot topic for quite some time and the idea of things being “white washed” as well as bad cultural stereotypes have been around since the dawn of the printed word. These days, however, these ideas are being challenged.

As things go in cycles, things in the 90s are now beco ming nostalgic such as “Full house”, “Saved by the Bell” and of course “Power Rangers”. However, the prevailing unveiling of the idea of inclusion and proper, I do highlight the idea of “PROPER” representation is easier to call out.

For the few of you who were not born in the late 80s or very early 90s and not bombarded by American filming meshed with Japanese stock footage, here’s how Power Rangers works. Zordon, an intergalactic being and his companion Alpha-5 (No word on the other 4) summon a group of Teenagers with “Aittiude” to repetitively fight the evils of Goldar and Rita Repulsa. It’s a show based on a long-running live action children’s/Teen’s show Gogo Senti ZyuRanger which Haim-Saban ported over to American Audiences in 1993.

Being that the show centered around the lives of “seemingly ordinary” Teenagers with the aforementioned “Attitude” herein lies everyone’s favourite word “inclusion”. In the 90s, however, this was more a tokenization matter and not an actual attempt at showing a truly diverse cast.

In the new movie, just called “Power Rangers” ™ with a lightening bolt in the centre, the cast is truly diverse, having ethnic diversity and Neurodiversity as well as gender diversity. One of the new Rangers out of the 5 is LGBTQ+. The way this person is done is respectul as far as I have heard from mos tof my friends of that ilk.

As I mentioned before, there is Neurodiversity. Being represented. The Blue Ranger Billy Kranston is on the spectrum. Surprisingly to myself and a lot fo my friends who are Neurodivergent and or on the spectrum htemslves, this particular person wasn’t played up as a gimick, cash-in or anything of the sort. He really seemed like part of the fabric, as it were that constructed both the story and the setting of the film, like the other characters. I have to say, this is a big step in the right direction.

There is a lot of backlash these days concerning films who try to have both a diverse cast of actors, character representations and who try to tell different sotries than the normal narrative. There are even fans of power rangers who really don’t like the idea of ANY inclusion or diversity in the media. They see it as a threat. Internally in hollywood, this is also causing a problem. There are mentions on radio shows about an “Agenda” being pushed. I disagree. Having a media that tells a varity of stories with a variety of characters and narratives makes things more interesting, and dare I say it, more real.  

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Cattydragons:

    back in the 1990s inclusion = tokenism.

    And yet we are nostalgic for/remember it.