Transformers 2 and accusations of racism?

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The biggest movie of the summer just seems to be rife with news. Some viewers and reviewers have been accusing Michael Bay’s new Transformers movie of being racist. Silly yeah? Well perhaps not so much.

A pair of Autobot twins in Revenge of the Fallen, Skids and Mudflap, have been labeled as racist stereotypes. The reasoning behind this is their characterization. Both speak like an urban stereotype, have big ears, buck teeth, and apparently don’t know how to read. Further damning evidence points at the gold plated teeth Skids has.

The blame for the characterizations of these characters has been passed around. Starting at the screenplay writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who also wrote Star Trek and Watchmen together, who blame Michael Bay saying “I think a lot of what we did was following Michael’s lead. Those characters, more than any other, he had the strongest instinct for. Our job was to keep up with him.”

Bay passes the blame to the voice actors, Tom Kenny(voice of Spongebob Squarepants) and Reno Wilson, saying “When you work with voice actors, especially with the twins, they did a lot of improv for their parts. We liked their improv and, from there, we would animate to their stuff. When you’re doing character animation and you’re building the character, it’s not like an actor where you shoot the scene and you’ve got it and you move on.”

Wilson, best known for his role in the Cosby show apparently, argues that the mannerisms are from watching and downloading human culture from the internet. Yeah, that doesn’t help much.

Further accusations fall on a several stereotypical items through out the movie. A bucktooth black man who works at a Jewish deli, a noodle eating Chinese man, a french mime, and a Parisian restaurant that sells Snails.

As for my views I can’t quite say. I have yet to see the movie, and what I’m reporting on is second hand. I can’t help but think that these accusations of racism might just be the views of some people being subconsciously racist. Then again, I never really saw Jar Jar Binks as a racist caricature, so who am I to speak?

Slash Film’s article on Racism Accusations

3 thoughts on “Transformers 2 and accusations of racism?

  1. I actually saw the movie and to tell the truth, they were my faves from the movie. We were at the theater with a large audience of black people and they were laughing just as hard, if not harder, than we were! I feel that there’s a bunch of people out there who feel it is their obligation to feel outraged about something that has nothing to do with them.

    As for the other things? I’m not sure about, but I do know that if you go to Paris, you’re likely to see a French mime in the street as well as be able to order escargo (i.e. snails) in a sidewalk cafe. She specifically said something like “Well, I’m trying new things!” I mean, it was comical. I actually kinda wanna see this movie again just because it was such a great movie with lots of comedy, action, and a nice little continuation of the first movie’s story.

  2. AS to the mime what did you think of the scene besides thinking it was poking fun at France?

    DO YOU THINK IT WAS A COMICAL SCENE??
    IT WAS GRAND ON IMAX>>

    I do not know the thoughts behind it for sure, but I thought Michael bay and I might be dead wrong was paying tribute to a once living master of Mime Marcel Marceau.
    I wish the scene were longer as it was edited.
    I know there are people who hate mimes , are scared of clowns, hate Liverwurst and Spam.
    There are also people who as with dancers are amazed at the physicallity required to be a mime.
    It is much more than face paint. It is the inner sould really adn merely a reflection yes a reflection of all of humanity.
    We are not happy or sad.. we are your mirror.

    If Michael Bay was poking fun. So Be it..
    Kevin Dunn Did a number of takes as did Julie White.

    HE ends up saying “Get Out of here”\
    She says ” Mime’s freak me out”.. guess since she was smoking pot earlier.

    I ACTUALLY AM THE MIME IN THAT BRIEF SCENE> I AM SO HAPPY AS SHORT AS IT IS PEOPLE STOOD UP AND TOOK NOTICE> I WOULD HAVE BEEN RIGHT TO LIST MR MIME IN THE CREDITS SO I WILL LIST HIM HERE>

    CAST OF TRANSFORMERS @ REVENGE OF THE FALLEN

    MR MIME: TED BORODAEFF

    I rather enjoyed the film. It was what it was.

  3. Well I’m an African American woman and I thought that the twins were awesome lol.I feel that with all the seriousness that was involved with the movie the twins personalities gave it alot of humor and kept it exciting.I loved them point blank.