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The news that Bryan Cranston would be portraying a character in the new Power Rangers movie has excited a lot of fans of the franchise. However, there is one person who is really not thrilled by the Breaking Bad star's involvement. In a recent exchange on Twitter, the original Pink Ranger, Amy Jo Johnson, asked the original Blue Ranger what he thought of Cranston's casting. As it turns out, he didn't think very much of it at all.
The interview that David Yost cites was with IGN in 2009, and while the vast majority of the interview deals with Breaking Bad, at the end Bryan Cranston is asked about his work on the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Cranston recounts the now often reported facts that early in his career he did voiceover work for Saban, the producers of the series. He then adds that the character of Billy, the Blue Ranger, was named for him and given the last name Cranston. While the interviewer finds this to be a fun and entertaining story, Cranston follows up with a statement that implies he was specifically not happy with which ranger was named for him, and uses an offensive term to explain why.
He's the fey one, that's the problem.
Needless to say, it's understandable why David Yost would be less than thrilled with Bryan Cranston. It isn't simply that Cranston uses a term here to describe a homosexual which is problematic, he also implies that the producers somehow made a lesser choice when giving Billy the last name Cranston, as opposed to one of the other characters. We'd like to give Cranston the benefit of the doubt here, the interview was seven years ago, and it's possible that whatever opinions the actor had about homosexuals have evolved in that time, they certainly have for a lot of people, but we're not David Yost. For him, the words aren't just offensive, they're personal.
David Yost has spoken in recent years about how he originally left the Power Rangers series due to harassment over being gay. Apparently, the set of the original series was a pretty vile work environment. Yost would be subjected to harassment on a regular basis from both the crew, and worst of all, other cast members.
It's unfortunate that one of the people responsible for bringing us the original Power Rangers doesn't get to be as excited as the rest of us to see it get rebooted for a new generation. This should be something that everybody gets to enjoy together. The new Power Rangers movie will hit screens early next year.