So Silent Over New Power Rangers Movie
The dust has barely settled on the Beauty And The Beast controversy, and as fate would have it, the new Power Rangers movie, which opened just one week later on Thursday (March 23), features a lesbian superhero.
Happily for Power Rangers fans, the movie will be screened in Malaysia without cuts, reported Channel NewsAsia.
But for Singaporeans perhaps they should ask: Will our religious leaders speak up about the Power Rangers movie, considering they did so for Beauty And The Beast?
Lesbian Lead Character
The new Power Rangers film might seem like a straightforward superhero flick, but there is a twist — not in the storyline, but the sexual orientation of one of the main heroines.
Actress and singer Becky G plays Yellow Ranger, Trini, one of the five chosen ones who were bestowed with unimaginable powers to save the world from evil forces.
Trini is depicted to be a lesbian, as she struggles with “girlfriend problems”. Director Dean Isrealite has acknowledged that Trini “is questioning a lot about who she is”, reported the BBC.
Trini isn’t the only Power Ranger that’ll capture audiences’ attention though. RJ Cyler who acts as Blue Ranger, Billy Cranston, suffers from autism.
Let’s just hope nobody is loony enough to link autism to homosexuality.
Beauty And The Ban
As for Beauty and the Beast, it was initially pulled out of Malaysia after Disney refused to cut a 3-second “gay moment” from the movie.
But the unedited movie is now set to be released on March 30 with a PG13 rating, perhaps because the Malaysian authorities actually watched the movie and realised the so-called “gay moment” is so short that nobody would have even noticed it if not for the controversy.
In Singapore, the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS), issued a strongly worded statement warning against the movie.
Anglican Bishop Rennis Ponniah also issued an advisory, reported The New Paper: “Disney films for children’s entertainment are usually associated with wholesome and mainstream values. But times are changing at a foundational level… LeFou is portrayed as gay and a ‘gay moment’ is included in the movie by way of a subplot.
“Parents are advised to provide guidance to their children about (the film), and indeed to their children’s entertainment choices in a rapidly changing age.”
If a mere 2-second “gay moment” that frankly isn’t really very gay at all can cause such controversy, one may wonder what the response from the religious leaders would be in face of a movie with a gay female lead.
The Beauty and the Beast gay scene is almost negligible, yet the NCCS took such a strong stance.
So why didn’t they issue a similar statement for the Power Rangers movie, where one of the lead characters is lesbian?
Both movies can be said to be appeal to young people. Do the religious authorities somehow think Beauty And The Beast is more likely to “mislead” young people than Power Rangers?
Or maybe they just got overwhelmed with issuing so many statements?
Being outraged can be a full-time job. What with all the gay moments in movies, TV and theatre nowadays, every religious body should open a special department with full-time staff to issue warnings.
Looks like even the religious bodies have problems finding manpower nowadays.
Perhaps the NCCS can look to hire this woman named Charissa, who wrote in to All Singapore Stuff, livid over the “evil gay agenda” of the Power Rangers movie and how homosexuality is being promoted everywhere.
She blamed Hollywood for disrespecting Christians by promoting homosexuality, before suggesting they are encouraging children to be gay.
While it’s true that we do not need to have gay representation in everything, the fact is that there isn’t gay representation in everything in the first place — there’s many shows she can watch without being bothered by unsightly gay people.
She says LGBTs are tiny minority and don’t need to be “pandered to”, she may have forgotten that Christians made up only 18.8% of Singapore as of 2015, according to a Straits Times report that quoted the Department of Statistics Singapore. So I guess since Christians are a minority, they don’t have to be “pandered to” either?
While she says religious people “are also important and their views ought to be respected”, we think she’s forgetting that the views of religious people are already respected in society. All she has to do and look at our pledge: “Regardless of race, language or religion.”
However, the last time we checked “regardless of sexual orientation” wasn’t in the pledge, so it does seem like in Singapore, the views of religious people are more respected than the views of gay people.
So we wonder why she thinks religious people are in any way disrespected.
While it’s heartening that Power Rangers and Beauty And The Beast will be shown in both Singapore and Malaysia, the existence of people like Charissa shows that there are still people around who discriminate.
And though the religious authorities in Singapore haven’t made a peep yet over Power Rangers, perhaps they don’t have to — there are already lots of people like Charissa who will do it for them.