No Pink Spandex » Episode 215: Diversity in Spandex

Episode 215: Diversity in Spandex

No Pink Spandex – Episode 215: Diversity in Spandex (1:32:43, 64 MB)

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Show Notes

Hosted by: Lisa J, Jer, Tristan, and Shamus
Topics: We discuss the recent Power Rangers Ninja Steel cast change and delve into diversity on Power Rangers over the years.

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Comments ( 5 )

I respectfully disagree with 60-70% of what you guys said. (honestly, I think you guy are kinda being over-dramatic, jumping to conclusions and blowing the issue out of proportion)

BUT it was an interesting discussion and I do agree Power Rangers could pay a bit more attention to culture and just be more “grown up” in general.

I’m black by the way.

Javier (JNTA1234) added these pithy words on Sep 24 16 at 10:53 am

I’m not sure we should look at Girl Meets World as an example for tackling social issues and cultures. They handle social issues in the most simplistic and tone deaf way possible. I want Lisa to watch the episode on heritage and see her react to the fast talking Cuban boy and the antics that ensue from that.

Jah added these pithy words on Sep 25 16 at 2:10 am

I agree with you all 1000%. Unfortunately, and people may disagree, Hollywood is not very inclusive to darker skinned people. As someone who lives it every day as an actor, we’re being casted 70% on how you look and 30% on talent. Its sad. I was hoping that Chantz was going to be Yellow and now that Nico is, while nothing wrong with him, but it says a lot about Hollywood and how “Progressive” it is. Even though he’s part Columbian, they’re going to make him the white guy of the bunch. The Neo Saban era has not included darker skinned people at all and the paper bag context is so evident. Great podcast guys. Keep it up.

Iambrandondamone added these pithy words on Sep 25 16 at 7:41 pm

When I saw who they recast, I thought, “Oh great, another blonde Yellow Ranger…” :\ it seems to me that since Overdrive, both Saban and Disney have had a weird fetish for blonde Yellow Rangers.

TimeTigerYellow added these pithy words on Sep 28 16 at 4:18 pm

*staring at my notes, and debating if commenting to this podcast is even a good idea*

*raises hand* Hi, my name is —. and I’m a white girl from Los Angeles.


1. Ninja Steel
From checking out Chantz Simpson’s twitter (@pbchantz), I wonder if something happened in NZ that he didn’t have control over. He does look very fit, but we don’t know if there was an underlying health problem or if there was a contract issue. I am as bummed about not having him joining the team as the next person.
As Lisa has admitted, we don’t know the reason.
2. It sucks to be the new guy.
NPS spent a whole podcast on “white boy replaced diverse actor”. We just don’t know the reason. Yes, it was VERY stupid of them to parade Chantz around at PMC5, and then pull him a few weeks later in NZ. I’d a poor move. It makes the fans go nuts with conspiracy theories.
We don’t know what happened. Chances are, they don’t know what happened either.
3. “People like stories”, Lisa.
Exactly. I like stories, you like stories, Jer likes stories. Tristin and Shemus likes stories. Kids and adults like stories. As long as the story is quality, and it has good actors, the audience is generally happy.
As long as PR doesn’t talk down to the children, and treats them like an equal, they are in good hands. It’s when the stories talk down to the audience, it is where they lose the audience. This is what happened in Samurai and Megaforce/ Super Megaforce. It was like preschool for Power Pangers. (Though, even classic Sesame Street understood to interject humor for the parents, and not talk down to the kids. I can’t vouch for newer sesame street. Elmo killed it for me).
4. About holiday episodes.
I always found them funny since Haim Saban is a Jewish man. I know that Hollywood is very Jewish, and it would not be surprising if they embraced a Jewish holiday. But perhaps they embrace the Santa Claus part because it is for anybody and everybody. It’s not tied to a religion, and they won’t alienate anyone else. (And, maybe there are for commercial earning here around that time, too? Who knows! But there must be a reason to keep PR coming back to make more shitty/cheesy holiday episodes.
5. Diversity.
I crossed over into Toku, there’s no diversity over there. Maybe, you will get two white guy actors, and 2 black guys. Pretty much next to nil. But you know what? I just refer to #3. “People like stories”. If the story is solid, and the actors can act, I don’t care if the entire cast is Japanese. If it is quality, it is quality, and that is what matters.

Crossing the ocean to the USA: Diversity.
Growing up in a culturally diverse city, I didn’t see a problem with PR. I just liked what I saw, liked the villains, liked the stories, and that was that. In my world, as long as the story is solid, and the actors can act, I am happy. This whole, “but you like him because he looks like you” is false. I like people who are good actors. I like people who make me believe that they exist in this universe.
I like characters with developed backstories, and purpose. I *want* to care about them. I *want* to be invested. If the writers do a poor job, and the character comes up flat: it absolutely sucks. It takes away the potential for that character. One character from PR was TF with Katie. I absolutely loved her. I wished that there was more to her backstory. Her actress was very talented, but the writers did not take advantage of that. So her character came off flat to me.
6. Diversity 2.0
Agreeing with Jer: It would be nice to have an openly gay or lesbian character. Or bi. Or pan. I would also like to see a female lead red ranger. But it’s probably like asking for a power lead female Kamen Rider. There’s only a handful of female Kamen Riders, and nearly all of them have a death sentence. Or they are extreme eye candy for the fanboys…. Eh..
Maybe in the upcoming movie, they will push the envelope and have more mature topics. One can hope, right?
7. There needs to be an episode where Calvin is reading a Calvin and Hobbes comic book.
8. Liked the Beasty Boys reference.
9. Can’t wait for NPS to review the latest SDP episode. It’s a great one.
10. Behind the scenes peeps:
I honestly never paid that close attention to the names splashed across the screen until I started listening to this podcast. Most of the time, I spend the opening sequence watching the imagery in the background or ogling over the good-looking males on staff for that season. Or I multitask, and do other things until the theme is over, before turning back in to the regular program.

I don’t go: “I wonder what color this person is?” “I wonder why there aren’t more working behind the scenes.

To me, I just see the names go by, and it means that someone has a job for the time being. It’s a job. And, they return the following season, it means that they did a good job, and were brought back. Sometimes when the season is really good, I pay attention to the names, and obsess over the day that they return to the franchise (Eddie G). But mostly, I just see it as some guy/woman that has a job. And, either they are really liked by the fandom (Judd Lynn) or really hated (Johnny T). As long as the season is good, I don’t care how it is done–as long as it is done.

(BTW: I clean bathrooms, showers, and changing room floors to make ends meet. I am college educated, but have been having a rough time finding work in my field. So when I say, “it’s a job, who cares”, this is where I am coming from. I am working in a role where I clean up after the public. I really have no room to whine about other people’s jobs as mine includes cleaning up feces, vomit, and menses…)
11. Who runs Saban Brands? Is it Diverse or is it ran by a bunch of white guys?
*Uses internet to find out*
Discovers that no, it’s not all white guys… in fact *gasps*
Saban Brands is being ran *drum roll please* By a WOMAN. AND (wait for it, wait for it) she’s not WHITE!
—Janet Hsu serves as Saban Brands’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
And… Brian Casentini serves as Executive Producer of Power Rangers for Saban Brands. So is he a WHITE guy? *googles internet for picture* Ahhh shucks, he looks white. Well, could it be that he got there because he worked his way up to that? Is it that far reaching? He does have an impressive resume.

Here’s the link to the rest of the list:

There are FIVE women on this list running Saban Brands. That’s pretty good, right?

*Looks at novel above* *sighs*

Old Fart Fan added these pithy words on Oct 04 16 at 3:35 am