Original Power Rangers star David Yost teases ‘awesome’ gay representation in reunion special

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always star David Yost and as his character, Blue Power Ranger.

Actor David Yost, best known as Blue Power Ranger Billy Cranston in the ‘90s Power Rangers series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, is reflecting on how the series has evolved when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation.

Yost, 54, starred in the original kids’ series from 1993 to 1996 and in the 1995 film, but left the show due to homophobic harassment and abuse he received from production crew.

The actor revealed in 2010 that he was called a “f****t one too many times”, adding: “I just felt like I was continually being told I was not worthy of being where I am because I’m a gay person.

“And I’m not supposed to be an actor. And I’m not a superhero.”

However, the superhero series has come a long way since then. Yost is starring in Netflix’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always, a special 30th anniversary reunion episode alongside other original cast members. 

In one scene, viewers are introduced to a gay couple. Minh, the daughter of Yellow Power Ranger Trini, helps the pair to defend themselves against the evil Rita Repulsa and her Putty Patrollers.

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Speaking about the beautiful moment of queer representation in the series, Yost told Entertainment Weekly that it was “awesome” to see.

“I think it’s great that we add an element like that obviously into where we are, because it’s so important that people do see representation,” he explained.

“It’s taken a long time to get there. So to have it in this special I think is great, and to just have it be like it’s just an everyday thing, I think is awesome.”

In 2018, while celebrating the series’ 25th anniversary anniversary, Yost talked openly about the despair he felt after experiencing homophobia on set – to the point where he felt he had to undergo so-called conversion therapy.

“I put myself through conversion therapy because I didn’t wanna be gay. And I really struggled and struggled and struggled with it,” he told Entertainment Weekly at the time.

In a separate interview with Out in Perth, the actor shared that his experience of the damaging practice led to a “nervous breakdown”.

“The conversion therapy I had done quite religiously for two years … unfortunately caused a nervous breakdown because I was actively working against the truth of who I was and mentally, I couldn’t take it anymore,” he said.

“After my nervous breakdown, it took me years to be comfortable and really be open about myself. It wasn’t an overnight process and it took a long time to be happy and comfortable.”

Despite his negative experience behind the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers scenes, Yost still believes that the cast was well ahead of its time in terms of minority representation.

Alongside Yost, the original Power Rangers’ series featured Black actor Zack Taylor and the late Vietnamese actor Thuy Trang. 

“In so many ways, we were ahead of our time in 1993 because of the cast that we had,” Yost said.

“Our characters all were so diverse, but we really showed what teamwork was about – and that we could all come together and we could be from different backgrounds and we could be friends.”

New Power Rangers series have also come on leaps and bounds. Last year, a new non-binary villain was introduced, while Power Rangers Dino Fury introduced a queer Power Ranger in 2021.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always is available to watch on Netflix now.

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