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Good News: PR is back! Bad News: The Red Ranger must be white! 
20th-May-2010 06:56 pm
As many might have heard, Saban has bought back Power Rangers and plans to adapt the Sentai Shinkenger for Nicktoons (Oops, it's Nickelodeon, Nicktoons is rerunning the 700 episodes) for 2011. As with all fandoms, people began searching every corner of the Internet for more information. Someone logged on to the website Actors Access and came across the casting sheet for the new season.

And here's our first bit of racefail!


Special Notes: LOCATION: ALL TALENT must be willing to relocate to New Zealand for
approx. 6 -8 months. Must have valid or current passport with at least one (1) year left
before renewal or able to get one.

RATE: NON-UNION EPISODIC. APPROX. Salary $70/hr or $1,000 per day plus ten
percent (10%) agent fee. Favored nations.

ALL OF THE FOLLOWING POWER RANGER ROLES are a group of teens 18-23
years to play 15-19 years. They are all nice looking, charismatic, energetic,
outgoing and a confident. They must have SUPER HERO LOOKS with average
height and in great physical condition. Martial arts or gymnastics a big plus:
Caucasian (Emphasis mine) male, 18 - 23 to play 17-19 years. Reese is an attractive young man
with super hero looks and a slim athletic build, approx 5'10". Natural leader,
reserved quiet and mysterious. Martial arts a plus.

All ethnicity Male, 18 to 23 to play 17-19. He has good looks and a strong slim
build. He is approx. 5'6" - 5'9", He is a rebel, street smart He is very creative and
not afraid to think outside the box.

Could be any ethnicity Male, 18 to early twenties to play 16-19 years. He is a
handsome athletic man with honorable intentions. Approx. 5'6" - 5'10" with a
slightly thinner build. Extremely disciplined, punctual, 'military' square.
*Martial arts ability is required.

Any ethnicity, 18 to 23 to play 16 to 19 years. 5'4"-5'6. She is beautiful,
sophisticated, intelligent and confident. She tends to be the older sister type.
Motherly. She is very intuitive and genuinely cares about others.

Any ethnicity, 18 to early twenties to play 14 to 16 years of age. 5'2"- 5'5".
Very cute, sweet, positive and very naïve small town girl. She is the baby
sister that everyone looks after.

Any ethnicity male, 18 - 23 to play 17-19 years. He is on the slim side
- 5'7" - 5'10". He is over animated, funny and affectionate, a Jim Carrey type
but with no ego. He is a guy who grew up in the streets and is self taught
fighter and a self taught computer programmer. Must have great comedic
body movements.

Any ethnicity female, 18 to early twenties to play 16 to 19 years of age.
height 5'4"- 5'6". good looking, cold and aloof. She is a princess with blue
blood lineage. She is very brave and maintains her courage under difficult


Um. Why.

Why does the Red Ranger have to be white? Why can all of the other rangers be of any ethnicity, but the Red Ranger has to be of Caucasian origin? Are TJ from the second half of Turbo, Shane from Ninja Storm, Jack from SPD, Nick from Mystic Force, and Scott from RPM associated with low ratings? Is the viewership accepting of Rangers from all sorts of backgrounds, but the lead being a person of color turn them off? Is white associated with a boost in viewership in PR?


Edit: Contact Info to speak about this

Write to Nick: http://www.nick.com/mynick/write_nick/mail.jhtml

Viewer Services
1633 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
(212) 258-7579
Nick Website: http://www.nick.com/

20th-May-2010 11:20 pm (UTC)
Wow. That's just... wow.
20th-May-2010 11:20 pm (UTC)
The Red Ranger's mysteriousness is hiding his SECRET NEO-NAZI BACKGROUND OMG
20th-May-2010 11:26 pm (UTC)
Resse is a very Caucasian name if you ask me
20th-May-2010 11:30 pm (UTC)

(also, how exactly would a 'Caucasian name' ONLY be for a Caucasian person, given the centuries of European imperialism and colonialism across the globe?)
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20th-May-2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
Oh-boy.... you know, as soon as I read the headline this is exactly what I thought was going to happen.

How predictable...
20th-May-2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
I heard somewhere that kids aged 2 - 14 can only enjoy a show if the leader is white. A white male. A white straight male. A white, straight, able-bodied male.

...I dunno, just heard somewhere. So it MUST be true, right?
21st-May-2010 12:04 am (UTC)
A white, straight, able-bodied American male.
20th-May-2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
It's possible that they want to avoid comments about skin color and Ranger color like the ones they got for older series (like the first Yellow and Black Rangers being played by an Asian and an African-American actor, respectively, or Tommy, who was supposed to be at least part Native, eventually becoming the Red Ranger). This is really just a theory, though, since there's no mention of the ethnicity for any other Ranger, only the Red. Which is... confusing. Seems like they really want the Rangers to be lead by a white guy. This feels like a serious step backwards, since a Wiki search shows me that at least 4 actors that have played the Red Ranger (maybe more, I can't tell the ethnicity of some of them, and it isn't mentioned in their wiki pages) have been actors of color, including the most recent one.

So, yeah, weak guess is that they want to avoid cries of racism about putting actors of color in costumes that "match" their skin. I kinda doubt it, though, and feel a little disappointed.
20th-May-2010 11:36 pm (UTC)
When I heard the news that Saban got the show back I \o/. Seeing this casting sheet makes me >:|.
21st-May-2010 12:31 am (UTC)
Pretty much this with me. Wasn't Wild Force the last one Saban did? I can't remember, it's been too long. Either way, I am very disappoint re: the casting calls. ~_~

*gets back from checking sites linked above* YUP! That explains why *I* left after that season. x3
20th-May-2010 11:42 pm (UTC)
Also, this might be something we could consider contacting NickToons and/or Saban to ask them about. I'm really curious to know what their response would be.
20th-May-2010 11:58 pm (UTC)
The closest I can find for Saban is contactanycelebrity.com, which you have to be a member of.
21st-May-2010 12:25 am (UTC) - My letter to Nick
Dear Nick,

I'm very excited that Power Rangers is going to repremiere on your network. I'm a long time fan of the show and I look forward to its premiere next year.

Nevertheless, I'm disappointed about certain info that has come to light. I've come across the casting sheet for the next season, and while I'm happy that all of the other Rangers can be of any race, I'm concerned that the Red Ranger has to be white.

I've enjoy all seasons of PR and love all the rangers. I thought TJ, Shane, Jack, Nick, and Scott were wonderful Red Rangers. As a white viewer, I had no trouble connecting with them. So why are you restricting the casting pool for this season's Red Ranger, even though the ones of color did just fine?

I've heard about the Japanese show that's adapting the footage and that the other rangers treated the Red Ranger with great reverence. I'm worried that it will negatively affect the viewers who are white and are of color if they see the minority rangers bowing to a white guy.

Can you contact Mr. Saban, or anyone else about it, so that actors of color would have the chance to take the Red Ranger mantle and serve good examples for your diverse viewers? If the best one for the role turns out to be black, asian, hispanic, or arab, then allow him to take the role.

Sincerely, a big fan,

[My Name]
21st-May-2010 12:34 am (UTC)
And the one they are adapting is from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, which shows A LOT of Japanese culture influences, from the 'Shodo phone' (a calligraphy paint brush-cellphone) in writing the kanji of their elements, to their mechas being inspired by Origamis. Shinken Gold (who runs a sushi cart) uses a sword-technique that is similar to Zatoichi's one. It's going to be awkward if they put a white lead for this, as it feels like they are going the 'Last Samurai' route with a white guy leading... the Asian troops...

Oh, and the one Japanese actor in my icon IS the original Red for this show, Shinken Red's Shiba Takeru (but later, there is a female red named Kaoru who appears later)

This is the opening for Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1pqpRdL7cM
And if you watch the series, it IS steeped in a lot of the traditional Japanese culture.
21st-May-2010 12:38 am (UTC)
I'm not too concerned about the Japanese Culture...RPM and Goonger are VERY different, so I won't be surprised if that happens here too.

Again, what I'm concerned with is the white lead thing.
21st-May-2010 01:25 am (UTC)
Red Ranger is white because he's the *STAR*


I love that the Green Ranger is named "Parry" instead of oh say "Perry" which is an actual name and not something you block strikes with. Der hey.
21st-May-2010 01:38 am (UTC)
Awww, Parry is a great name! *thumbs up*
21st-May-2010 01:45 am (UTC)

...Sorry. As a white person, I'm allowed to say that stuff, right? XD

This is for realz sad.
21st-May-2010 03:35 am (UTC)
lol irl :(
21st-May-2010 02:11 am (UTC)
Is this show going to be directed by Shyamalan?
21st-May-2010 02:27 am (UTC)
So let me get this straight the red ranger has been a person of color 4 times and had a POC leading the show on 4 different occasions but making him white this time is wrong LOL

had the red ranger always been white you may have a case
21st-May-2010 04:37 am (UTC)
What? We're not saying that "making him white this time is wrong."

We're saying that this time, it's wrong for them to not consider all ethnicities. It's wrong for them to prevent people of color from having the chance to even audition when there is clear precedence in the past that this role is not specific to any one ethnicity.
21st-May-2010 02:59 am (UTC)
Agreeing with all this. As a Power Rangers Fan, I'm disappointed as well.

I was always under the impression that Jason (the original Red Ranger) was a POC which I thought was refreshing that they had a POC as the leader.

Of course this led to inevitable heart break when he got replaced by Tommy.
21st-May-2010 03:22 am (UTC)
Dear god that's blatant. They didn't even tack on a token "or any other ethnicity".
21st-May-2010 04:37 am (UTC)
Most casting announcements are that blatant.
21st-May-2010 06:19 am (UTC)
I think a lot of you guys are jumping to conclusions. There may be a good reason why that one role is specifically calling for a Caucasian actor. For example, maybe that character has a specific background (like Swedish or Irish). Or, as some other people have stated, maybe the studio is simply paranoid they'll catch flak for putting the wrong actor into the wrong color suit like they did back in season one.

Power Rangers has a good track record when it comes to forming a diverse cast and casting people of color into leading roles. I don't see why they would bother messing with a successful formula now.

Our movement is already stereotyped as a bunch of loony reactionaries who toss around the racecard and desperately seek out stuff to be indignant about. Lets not add fuel to the fire by crying "OMG!RACISM!" when we currently know nothing about this production.
21st-May-2010 07:06 am (UTC)
I figure it can't hurt to encourage them to see all ethnicities for the lead roles. That way, they get a more expansive talent pool, too.

If race does play an integral part in this character's characterization ala Irish or Swedish like you mention, you'd think they would list it specifically so actors who have that cultural background will know that's what they are looking for. Caucasian is pretty generic.
21st-May-2010 07:18 am (UTC)
Most of the Red Rangers under Saban's run have been white. I thought Saban had learned his lesson with racefail after the fourth season when he made the Red Ranger discover his Native American heritage.

The show also has the bad habit of pushing all the other characters aside to focus on the red ranger.

What I'm very interested in are how the females will be cast. Going back to the first season, usually the yellow and pink rangers are cast as a white girl and a non-white girl. A lot of the time the nonwhite female ranger suffers from "other girl" syndrome and doesn't get a lot of development or attention. Off the top of my head, all 3 seasons of Mighty Morphin', as well as Power Rangers in Space, SPD, and RPM are guilty of this. It would be nice to break that trend.

Lol, I just outed myself as a Power Rangers geek.

21st-May-2010 08:21 pm (UTC)
I rolled my eyes at the plotline about Tommy's heritage myself, but I did read later on that Jason David Frank really is part Native American. I might be mistaken, though.

I'm pretty concerned with the treatment of the female rangers, though. I've also noticed that when there's only one female ranger in the cast, she's always white and blonde- Tori, Kira, and Lily. Granted, I liked all three of them, but I did find that problematic.

It's okay, I'm one, too. Also, icon love.
21st-May-2010 08:03 am (UTC)
Is at least the Red Ranger going to be a homosexual again? I hope he is and open this time, at least we could have diversity and a real character storyline if he was. =D
21st-May-2010 09:38 am (UTC)
"Again"? When was there a homosexual Red Ranger before?
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21st-May-2010 03:33 pm (UTC)

well since we all kno the majority of the ppl will end up being white anyway...but damn that's just...wow
21st-May-2010 08:27 pm (UTC)
Ugh. Oddly enough, it'd bother me a LITTLE less if each ranger had a specific ethnicity in the casting calls. The fact that the red ranger MUST BE WHITE AT ALL COSTS while the ethnicity of the others doesn't matter really irks me. Considering the samurai theme of Shinkenger, I think it'd make the most sense for him to be Japanese.
23rd-May-2010 09:50 pm (UTC)
And it gets even better if they're planning to follow the dynamic of the original Shinkenger; the characters are all from ancient samurai families, and the Red Ranger is the lord and the others his servants.
21st-May-2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
I was imagining that if they did adapt Shinkenger, they would have used an Asian actor(being the first Asian Red Ranger EVER) seeing that the Red Ranger had to be of blood heritage meaning he'd have to be Japanese.

This also relates to the Princess character who is listed as "any ethnicity" who should be Japanese also since she is "blood lineage". I'm only speaking if they were keeping the plot similar to Shinkenger...but I honestly have no idea where they are going with all this @_@
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