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Disturbing Power Rangers facts you may have missed

Power Rangers is an undeniably weird TV series, cobbled together from bizarre scraps of different Japanese zentai and kaiju series, roughly cut with distinctly American additions. This jambalaya of nonsense makes a desperate attempt at coherence, but generally falls short. The surreal series has consistently aired new episodes for over two decades, but unbeknownst to many, the innocent Power Rangers has an even deeper layer of weirdness, both on and offscreen. Here are a few unpleasant Power Rangers facts you may have missed.

Natural Morphed Killers

In true Ranger fashion, Ex-Wild Force Red Ranger Ricardo Medina Jr. just happened to have a sword stashed behind his door when his roommate, Josh Sutter, allegedly burst into his room and began attacking Medina and his girlfriend. On January 31, 2015, Sutter was stabbed in the stomach as Medina defended himself, and the attacker subsequently died from the injury. The Red Ranger went free shortly after his 2015 arrest; the case was thrown out of court for a lack of evidence at that time. But in January 2016, about a year later, Medina was once again booked on a murder charge. If convicted, he faces 26 years to life in prison.

Detonate The Zordon Bomb

The premise of Power Rangers is simple, if a little nefarious: a space wizard in a tube convinces a bunch of vulnerable teenagers to fight evil for him. At his best, Zordon is a low-rent Obi-Wan Kenobi who took a scattershot approach at finding Jedi, hoping that one or two out of fifty wouldn't be killed on their first day by a violent spacemonster. The truth, revealed in episode 293, is that Zordon could have sacrificed himself to defeat every evil alien at once. Why he held off so long is anyone's guess, but like anyone over the age of 25, he probably just couldn't stand teenagers.

Mighty Morphin Kidnapping

Not only was Zordon a bit of a sociopath, but he also kidnapped a ton of kids on Christmas Eve in order to placate his lonely robot assistant, Alpha. While the direct-to-video Alpha's Magical Christmas is despised by most Ranger fans, it's as undeniable as the Star Wars Holiday Special. It happened, and Rangerologists have struggled for decades to try to fit it into canon, while attempting to downplay the excessive creepiness of Zordon just using Earth kids as playthings.

SP License To Kill

Power Rangers SPD was softened significantly for American audiences, as the original Japanese Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger was quite a bit darker. American kids only saw the Rangers capture defeated evil monsters in trading cards using their Delta Morphers, but Dekaranger viewers enjoyed calculated monster executions, whose worthiness of life was determined by an SP License. The License device acted as judge, jury, and executioner, and could either capture or kill them instantly. The License is always right. The License can not be questioned. Kafka would have had a field day.

Poorer Rangers

According to most members of the cast, all of the actors playing the Power Rangers were paid a pitiful, non-union salary for their incredibly long workdays, which often stretched through the entire weekend, requiring both live-action and voiceover work. Austin St. John, the original Red Ranger, has said that he would have earned more working at a fast food window, and that Haim Saban, the show's creator, profited in the millions while refusing to distribute the wealth with his stars. St. John lived in his Jeep after he left the show, as it left him very little to live on, or any residuals, due to Saban convincing the inexperienced actors to sign terrible contracts.

Mighty Banned

Most viewers see Power Rangers as a very cheesy, saccharine adventure show, but early critics of the show found it to be excessively violent, which caused the show to be banned or heavily edited in many countries. In 1994, the accidental murder of a 5-year old Norwegian girl by three boys was quickly blamed on the show, and the program was pulled from the air in Scandinavia. Canada also stopped showing Power Rangers the same year, while in Malaysia, the use of the non-word "morphin" was thought to promote drug use in children, so scenes and titles were heavily edited to simply refer to "Mighty Power Rangers." Presumably, this reduced their trademark catchphrase to the very creepy, "It's.... time."

Bigotry Abounds

According to the original Blue Ranger, David Yost, on-set homophobia from the cast and crew was so vocal that he was considering suicide, and left the show for good in the middle of an episode, during his lunch break. The show's producers have refuted Yost's account, stating that he was asking for an unreasonable salary increase, even though Yost's account of harassment is backed up by a behind-the-scenes video. Of course, both sides probably have some truth. It seems perfectly reasonable for an actor to charge a "rampant homophobia" fee in his contract when work conditions suck.

The Green Ranger Can't Stay Out Of Trouble

Jason David Frank, the original Green Ranger and professional MMA fighter, rides his Power Rangers fame harder than any other child star, keeping the franchise alive, but often damaging his own reputation with his giant mouth. As if the pencil-thin microbeard and green stripe in his hair weren't signifiers of trouble, Frank continually finds himself trouble, from posting stupidly about Ricardo Medina's self-defense killing, to sharing executives' phone numbers to get fans to harass studios into letting him into their projects. Go go away, Power Ranger.