Original ‘Power Rangers’ star quit over horrific homophobic bullying
One of the original Power Rangers stars quit because he was the victim of homophobic bullying.
David Yost played the original Blue Ranger/Billy Cranston in the 1990s TV series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and became a fan favourite.
In a 2010 interview that has resurfaced online this week, Yost opened up about his reasons for quitting the show in 1996 – and the reasons might ruin your childhood memories.
Speaking at the Anime Festival Orlando 2010, he said he fell out with the show’s production team and creators because of his sexuality.
He said that his co-stars were repeatedly quizzed about what they knew about his sexuality, and he was also the victim of vile homophobic abuse.
He said: “I walked off set one day during the middle of lunch – I had made a decision, I had been thinking about it for a good week, and the reason I walked off was because I was called faggot one too many times.
“I had heard that several times while working on the show from creators, producers, writers, directors.
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“It’s not that people can’t talk about me, and have their opinion about me – but continuing to work in an environment like that is really difficult.
“I myself was struggling with who I was, or what I was, and to be made fun of on some level, or to be stereotyped, or put into a category – I fely like I was continually being told I’m not worthy of where I am because I’m ‘a gay person’ and I’m not supposed to be an actor and can’t be a superhero.”
He added: “That’s the vibe I was getting. I know my co-stars were getting called in a couple times to different producers’ offices to be questioned about my sexuality, which is a humiliating experience.
“There were a lot of issues – it felt like a bad marriage. I could either stay and finish six more months, or just go – and I was worried about my life.
“I was worried I might take my own life, and in order to get a handle in what was going on, I needed to leave when I left. That’s why I left the show.”
Though Yost hoped leaving the show would make things better for him, he in fact found himself on a downward spiral, attempting ‘gay cure’ therapy and having a nervous breakdown.
He said: “I thought, I need to get rid of this. I need to get rid of being gay somehow. I did what they call ‘pray the gay away’, where you believe that God is going to come down and change you. I spent two years trying to do that, and trying to change who I was.
“It eventually lead to a nervous breakdown, where I had to check into a hospital, and try to start rebuilding my life and start accepting who I was.”
However, he eventually learned to embrace his sexuality, and took part in the NOH8 Campaign to call out homophobia.