You'd think that, in a movie about battling robots, racial issues wouldn't exactly pop up. But the people behind the new Transformers movie decided to go that step further. In the tradition of Jar Jar Binks, robots Skids and Mudflap aren't exactly the finest examples of robothood:
"Skids and Mudflap, twin robots disguised as compact hatchbacks, constantly brawl and bicker in rap-inspired street slang. They're forced to acknowledge that they can't read. One has a gold tooth."
Apparently it's done for comic relief, but I've got to admit, that does sound kind of racially sketchy. I don't expect a lot of good writing from a Transformers script, but seriously guys? This was the funniest thing you could think of?
Directing genius (ha) Michael Bay says that racial offense was not the intention, and that the characters mostly came from the voice actors' ideas. The actors claim the robots are more 'poseurs' than 'black stereotypes.' Still, it's hard to tell the difference when the character is actually a robot.
Bay has some thoughts about that, too:
"I purely did it for kids," the director said. "Young kids love these robots, because it makes it more accessible to them."
Yeah. Kids are basically illiterate, so they'll like robots that are illiterate. Anybody else want to go hit their head against a brick wall now?