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New Power Rangers Movie Features a Power Ranger With Autism

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The big screen is about to get more inclusive, thanks to the new Power Rangers reboot. On Tuesday, it was announced that Billy the Blue Ranger is on the autism spectrum.

“I just wanted to show a different, like, viewpoint of people that are seen as being on the spectrum, right? Or people diagnosed with autism, ’cause it’s like I feel like us being outsiders looking in and I take that, I cast my own stone when I say that, ’cause there’s a lot that I didn’t know before,” RJ Cyler, the neurotypical actor playing Billy, said in an interview with ScreenRant.

In preparing for the role, Cyler told ScreenRant he spoke with people on the autism spectrum:

I actually sat down and shut my mouth and actually just listened and you know, accepted every bit of information with no judgment … I knew that it was my job to show, you know, that people that are on the spectrum are just regular people, literally, just how we talk, how me and Becky [who plays the Yellow Ranger] talk, they feel the same way, they have the same emotions, they wanna be loved, that want people to love, they want relationships they want, you know, connections, and it’s just like I was really excited to be able to play that ’cause I know it means so much to so many people.

Power Rangers is the latest franchise to introduce a character with autism. Earlier this week, Sesame Street announced it’s adding a new muppet, Julia, who will be on the autism spectrum. Popular video game Overwatch also shared that its character Symmetra is on the spectrum as well.

Power Rangers hits theaters March 24.

Originally published: March 23, 2017
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