Sadly this isn’t the first time as situation like this has arisen, and it likely won’t be the last. Last week, former Red Ranger Ricardo Medina was arrested on charges of murder (the case has since been rejected by the DA). Medina appeared in 2002’s Power Rangers Wild Force and again in 2011’s Power Rangers Samurai.
So how was this story handled? Multiple high profile news sites began posting the story…with a picture of the wrong actor. The most recognizable Power Rangers series is the original from 1993, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and many sites used pictures of that team despite the fact that they left the show almost ten years before Medina was ever a ranger.
Street Team members supporting Austin St. John, the actor who played Jason, the original Mighty Morphin Red Ranger, were quick to contact these outlets and point out the incredibly misleading mistake, and the articles have since been revised for accuracy. It’s a little disappointing that, in an age where accurate information is so easily obtained, such high profile media outlets would be so quick to publish and spread misinformation.
Yesterday evening Austin St. John himself posted a video to his Facebook page (full video below) addressing the news story. How did he respond to the misinformation spread about him? He didn’t. In the video, a noticeably shaken St. John addresses the ACTUAL events and shares his deepest condolences for those who have lost someone close to them and his well-wishes toward those who are investigating the matter. He didn’t lash out at those who (intentionally or not) tried to tarnish his name. He didn’t defend himself by addressing the misinformation.
Instead, he did the classiest thing he could: he addressed the true tragedy rather than the rumors. He didn’t try to make it about him; he simply directed the attention to where it belongs and offered his best wishes to all involved. He showed that there is more than one way to respond to a bloodthirsty media. He showed us that an ugly incident can be resolved without ever resorting to violence, anger, or mud-slinging. All it takes is sincerity.
Zordon would be proud.