beauty and power
Hollywood Is Getting Outsized Credit For Seriously Small Moments Of LGBT Inclusivity
Power Rangers has gotten attention for featuring the "first queer superhero," and Beauty and the Beast was heralded for its "exclusively gay moment." But these scenes feel so sl...
By Alison Willmore

Power Rangers:

So, here’s how the sequence actually goes: Trini and the other Rangers are sharing personal stories around a fire, and Trini explains how she’s preferred to keep her family out of her day-to-day life and her relationships. “Boyfriend trouble?” Black Ranger Zack (Ludi Lin) asks. “Yeah, boyfriend trouble,” Trini says — maybe sarcastically? It’s hard to tell, as Becky G delivers 99% of her lines with a sardonic lilt. Zack squints, then asks, “Girlfriend trouble?” Trini doesn’t respond.

Beauty and the Beast:

The Gaston-adoring sidekick LeFou (Josh Gad) shares a two-second dance with another man in the movie’s finale. It’s a scene, as Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist Glen Weldon put it when he tweeted, that’s “exactly the kind of throwaway gay joke Hollywood’s always churned out.” It wasn’t the only one either — LeFou’s dance partner is a character who, in an earlier scene, is shown being unexpectedly pleased with the women’s clothing he’d been forcefully clad in by a combative Madame Garderobe.

And Star Trek Beyond:

Then there was last year’s Star Trek Beyond, which, also before its release, made the reveal — one treated as a bigger deal in interviews than it ended up being onscreen — that its incarnation of Lt. Hikaru Sulu (John Cho) was gay. It did this by introducing a never-named-on-screen husband, played by screenwriter Doug Jung, who Sulu was shown pulling into an affectionate but not especially nonplatonic embrace during a visit as they strolled away with their daughter. “If you blinked, you missed it,” said George Takei, who played Sulu on the original Star Trek television show. “There are others who are dealing with LGBT issues much more profoundly.”

All three studios made a big deal out of making LGBT characters textual, but they still assume their audiences are just as narrow-minded as they are.

In a world in which How to Get Away With Murder plunked a scene of implied rimming between Jack Falahee and Conrad Ricamora onto primetime network TV two years ago, it seems particularly eyerolly to give a studio movie a pat on the back for including a shot of two men with their arms around each other, in a totally gay way, they swear.


"LGBTQ Representation"

I don’t think Power Rangers deserves all it’s getting for its first “queer superhero” because here’s how it went:

Zack: Boyfriend trouble?

Trini: yeah, “boyfriend”

Zack: ……girlfriend?

And then Trini continued with her story. That’s all it was. There wasn’t even a solid yes. You don’t get praised for doing something so minimalist. As with Beauty and the Beast, they made the wrong character gay. We are allowed to complain. Hollywood isn’t allowed to say that we should appreciate what we get because what we get is basically a slap to the face. Here they’ve given us a character who’s name is The Fool, in love with a straight man, and a character who’s sexuality is questioned for a split second without a solid answer. Are we supposed to appreciate this? This is bullshit. The characters sexuality doesn’t need to serve any purpose to the characters being, it’s just that if you’re going to have it acknowledged, do it correctly.

With the attention on these two films for doing this, Hollywood will continue to do just that. They will add little things to characters that aren’t focused on as much and say they’re of some minority group. Do not praise them for this. They’re most likely going to continue with this in one of the 19 films Disney is making, probably by saying one of Prince Charming’s boots were given to him by his bisexual brother.

Y'all: we need Diversity and Representation™ in big budget movies!!!!1!!

Also y'all: Go crazy over Beauty and the Beast (2017), a movie with only TWO people of color and THREE women in a top-billed cast of TWELVE, a movie with only THREE non-white actors playing characters (and two of them are inanimate objects. The only characters played by actors of color are Père Robert, Plumette and Madame de Garderobe). The only gay character only implies he’s gay and no one really talks about it. Everybody else is straight, most of them (even the inanimate objects like wtf, can only white actors do voice overs for furniture??) AND IT OPENS AT $174.75M

MEANWHILE, Power Rangers (2017), a movie with four leads of color, a character that’s on the autism spectrum and actually says he is, an LGBTQ+ character that also says she is, a character that made a terrible choice but wants to redeem herself, a bilingual character with a sick mom and a character that even though he was declared as the leader hE DOESNT BECOME A SELF ABSORBED ASSHOLE WHO THINKS HES THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE TEAM. IT IS SUCH AN ORGANICALLY DIVERSE MOVIE WITH SO MUCH HEART AND ITS SO FUN AND IT HAS ONLY MADE $40.5M


edit: the intention of this post isn’t really to attack Disney or BatB and I know that not everyone is a fan of the Power Rangers, my point is that here and all over social media we’ve been asking for diversity, and if they gave us this cool new diverse movie, the least we can do is go support it, like we went to support BatB! If they see it’s successful to have diverse characters and actors, lack of diversity in casts (like in the voice cast for BatB) could stop being so notorious.


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