On a recent edition of the PRIMO NUTMEG podcast , the original Blue Power Ranger, David Yost, discussed his difficulty in coming to terms with his homosexuality in the late 1990s, as well as a recent controversy involving Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston (who also happens to be appearing in the new "Power Rangers" film that is hitting theaters next week).
Yost has previously stated publicly that a main reason that he left the Power Rangers television series was due to homophobic harassment that he experienced at that time.
"Basically, there were people that I worked with that made my work environment a little less than desirable to be there with," Yost said. "With making snide comments insinuating that I was gay or just saying underhanded things. I mean, I did hear the word 'fag' a few times and you shouldn't have to go to work, nobody should have to go to work and have to deal with that kind of stuff. Whatever my personal life is, is my personal life."
"In that '90s, being gay was still sort of considered a bad thing, not a good thing," Yost added. "Certainly if you're an actor and you're working in the entertainment industry, and you want to be a lead on a TV show or in flims, you can't really be gay. At least that was the mindset in the '90s and I would say still to this day, unfortunately, I think that still goes on."
Yost also discussed how the harassment he faced came when he was personally struggling with his own sexuality.
"It was really hard for me to go to work every day," Yost said. "I was hating myself so much because I really didn't want to be gay. And I had already started the process of what they call Conversion Therapy when I was still on the show, at the tail end of it. Just because this was something that I hated so much about myself and I didn't want to be gay and I just had so many beliefs that it was wrong and that it was against God and all this stupid stuff now when I look back on it. Like it was really just such a horrible mental thing that I did to myself."
Talking about what it took for him to be able to accept his sexuality, Yost said that he unfortunately "hit rock bottom."
"I contemplated suicide many, many times when I was on Power Rangers," Yost said. "I had to go through a nervous breakdown. I had to be hospitalized. I had to be on medication for anxiety and depression. I really had to crash really hard to get to a point where I could start repairing myself and start saying, 'Okay, this is who I am.'"
Yost also addressed comments that Bryan Cranston made a few years back. During an interview with IGN in 2009, Cranston mentioned that Yost's character on the show, Billy Cranston, was named after him.
"He's the fey one, that's the problem," Cranston said.
Confronting Cranston's comment, Yost stated during the interview, "I can respect him as an actor. The comment, though, it doesn't make any sense. The only thing that I will say to that is, for me, fey is the way."
"If somebody want to think that it's a 'problem' as he stated in his comment, that's his business, but I am who I am," Yost said. "I don't necessarily think his comment was about my character cause it doesn't make sense about my character. And all the people that write to me and tell me, 'He didn't mean it the way you're making it sound, he meant it literally.' Like if you look up the word 'fey' literally the dictionary, I think it means something like 'jovial.' So if that's truly the case, if he meant it literal, what would he say that's a 'problem.' His comment was, 'He's the fey one, that's the problem.' So it just doesn't make sense. It's a very rude comment."
"He's apologized, so to speak, through his manager or somebody. And that's fine. I accept his apology. But it should be evident to people that this is sort of the stuff that I went through when I was on the TV show. So it's just those little jabs, those backhanded comments that aren't necessary. But those are things that I would hear all the time. And that's what caused me to leave the TV show. Because who wants to go to work when people are making dumb comments like that on a consistent basis?"