SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Lionsgate and Saban Brands announced Wednesday it will revive the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” for a feature film to be released at an undisclosed future date. The companies were also quick to caution fans that this time around they would not choose a black actor to portray the Black Ranger.
“With an extensive and extremely devoted worldwide fan base, as well as a deep and detailed mythology, the Power Rangers are primed for the big screen” the companies said in a statement, adding that that the “embarrassing and regrettable” selection of an African-American as the Black Ranger would not be repeated for the reboot.
“We understand that selecting a Ranger’s identity on the basis of skin color is no longer considered family-friendly entertainment, and we wish to assure all our fans of color that such practices have been discontinued by the Power Rangers franchise,” said Lionsgate CEO Jacob Fortescue in a separate statement. “Power Rangers is about the importance of unity and diversity in the face of evil. Crude ethnic stereotyping is inconsistent with that message.”
The original “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” featured Walter Emmanuel Jones, the only black cast member, as the Black Ranger.
“Additionally, should an Asian be cast, we promise he or she will not be selected to be the Yellow Ranger,” Fortescue’s statement continued. “In fact, we’ve been thinking about just discontinuing the whole Black Ranger thing. There’s too much bad history there.”
Fortescue did assure the public that in spite of these changes, the Pink Ranger will always be played by a ditzy, self-absorbed blonde. “It just makes sense,” Fortescue said.