6/24/2009

Did Michael Bay Cross the Line with Racist Portrayals of Robots in TRANSFORMERS Sequel?


Today, director Michael Bay releases his anticipated sequel to "TRANSFORMERS", "TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN". Like many fans of the first film, I am anxiously looking forward to seeing a ramped up sequel to one of the most incredible effects heavy films of our time. Being a film buff and someone who reads early reviews to gage excitement, I came across this review of the new Transformers film and was deeply disturbed by the description of the new characters above, Skids and Mudflap. Apparently these two robots are the "urban" element in the film. Massawyrm, author of the article at the link above (aintitcool.com), says "They speak in clich├ęd urban slang, tossing around phrases like “I’m gonna pop a cap in your ass” while fist bumping and mumbling unintelligently in a voice that sounds like a bad Chappelle Show sketch. Then you get a close up. And they each have bug eyes and a gold tooth. Then there’s this jackass comment about them not being able to read." I searched around for other reviews and many of these same themes are expressed. COMPLEX Magazine's online blog had this great article along with a video clip of Skids and Mudflap expressing their lack of literacy. In another review at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, it is noted that the robots "are shockingly crass and unfortunate black stereotypes, jive-talking fools who can't read and bumble their way from one mishap to the next. They are Jar Jar Binks in car form." I will likely see the film for myself but this does not sound very positive or necessary. If true as many reviews reveal it to be, the question that comes to mind is how could executive producer Steven Spielberg (DreamWorks) and film distributor, Paramount, co-sign this type of buffoonery?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it may be a little blown out of proportion. Is this solely based on the fact they talk slang and have a gold tooth. People seem to pull the racist card when they're bored or want attention.And they never said they couldn't read... they said they couldn't read an ancient DEAD language. Thats like being called illiterate if i can't speak ancient Egyptian! If it is racist, i doubt it was intentional.

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