Transformers 2: Big Controversy, Big Box Office & Sequel Rumors

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:26 pm,

transformers character list featuring optimus prime Transformers 2: Big Controversy, Big Box Office & Sequel Rumors

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has now blasted its way into theaters and IMAX and after just one day, the movie has managed to break box office records ($60 mil!), incite controversy (minstrel Autobots Mudflap and Skids), and, of course, spark (unconfirmed) rumors of an inevitable sequel.

Oh yeah, and the film has been taking a “record-breaking” beating in the review columns. Not that Michael Bay care$.

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS HEAVY SPOILERS ABOUT TRANSFORMERS 2.

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BIG CONTROVERSY

transformers 2 the twins mudflap skids Transformers 2: Big Controversy, Big Box Office & Sequel Rumors

If you’ve seen our Transformers 2 discussion forum (or looked just about anywhere else on the known Internet), then you’ve surely seen the outcry from both fans and critics about “The Twins” Mudflap and Skids, two new characters that were introduced in Revenge of The Fallen.

The problem? The Twins have been almost universally pegged as the most offensive racial stereotype on film since Jar-Jar Binks. The two Robots talk in southern crunk drawls, use profanity almost every other word, talk slang like “bust a cap in somebody’s ass,” and proudly admit to being illiterate. Oh, and one of them even has a gold tooth.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Michael Bay sort of kind of denied the accusation of racial insensitivity:

“We’re just putting more personality in…I don’t know if it’s stereotypes – they are robots, by the way. These are the voice actors. This is kind of the direction they were taking the characters and we went with it.”

So… basically he’s saying that, as the DIRECTOR he wasn’t keeping close eye on the development of the characters in his movie? On how they might be perceived, who they might offend or what kind of controversy they might stir? Yikes.

Bay later added (brilliantly) in his defense:

“I purely did it for kids, Young kids love these robots, because it makes it more accessible to them.”

There is TOO much loaded into that statement for this blogger to touch. Just good to know that (in Michael Bay’s humble opinion) Mudflap and Skids are the avenue to reaching today’s youth. Double yikes.

Transformers 2 writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman are wisely putting up an umbrella (ella, ella) to shield themselves from this s-storm. Apparently, this “ghetto fab” version of Mudflap and Skids was a shock to them (the writers) as well. As they told Film School Rejects:

Orci: Number one, we sympathize. Yes, the gold tooth was not in the script, that’s true.

Kurtzman: It’s really hard for us to sit here and try to justify it.I think that would be very foolish, and if someone wants to be offended by it, it’s their right. We were very surprised when we saw it, too, and it’s a choice that was made. If anything, it just shows you that we don’t control every aspect of the movie.

Kurtzman and Orci are pretty good guys in my experience, so I for one gladly give them the benefit of the doubt. Besides, this has studio idiocy written all over it; when you think about it, Paramount had to clear this depiction of The Twins at some point, so no matter what Bay or the voice-actors were up to, the studio should’ve known better.

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  1. Sequel? sweet.

    The twins. It says how the transformers studied earths culture and language. In my opinion, they’re no different than what Jazz was in the first one. He was somewhat “gangsta’” in the way he talked.

  2. I completely disagree about Jazz. Scatman Crothers did have a southern accent but his character Jazz was not idiotic. It seems obvious to me that Bay was the one who wanted this racist crap in there. As the article stated, Orci and Kutzman were surprised these characters were portrayed like this.

  3. @John

    the people who say Bay or the writers are racist are the ones who started this crap. if you say Bay made them black or spanish or italian or russian because of the way they talk then you are the racist ones. robots are not black or blue – they are cybertronian. I’ve heard “bay is a racist because he made the twins black”. That is the racist comment and it’s coming from the people who watched the movies.

  4. Again why are cartoon robots so controversial when the extremely reverse racist portrays all young black men as broken engish, gold toofus having, self indulgent, tatted up, dummies?? So cartoons are racist but MTV and most every hollywood movie that have the exact same ( non cartoon-flesh and blood) portrail of young black men gets a pass??? Remember before Obama became a phenom there were those in hollywood and the black caucus of the Democratic party saying he was too white??? Because he speaks eloquently????

    This is friggen silly. I wish there wasd the same outrage over the racist protrails of the “gangsta” on MTV especially when it is aimed directly at little kids and very dumb short attention span pop culture teens. (And John Cena fans) In addition to the sexifying and pornifying of pre teen girls.

    GIVE me a f-ing break. Cartoons??? How about R Kelly peeing on a 13 yr old after committing statatory rape and a month later he’s back in the face of our nation’s youth. How about Lil Wayne?? But the make believe cartoon bots are offensive.

  5. This is outlandish and ignorant. Someone must have a guilty conscious to say the Twins are a racial stereotype. Are you, Kofi Outlaw, saying that the way the Twins are presented on the film represents a race of our culture as idiotic, big gold tooth having, jack offs? If so it is you that is the racist. I saw nothing more than a couple of goofy bumbling idiots that were good for a few laughs. It’s obvious your perception of race is clearly prejudicial and nothing else. If any one race actually fits the description of those two it is a very very sad fact for them. But considering this is not a fact you can take your hood and sheets somewhere else.

  6. Personally, I sat next to a giant group of black guys last night in the movie. They laughed their ASSES off every scene that the twins were in. America needs to quit being so sensitive to tiny things like a robot in a movie talking like a stereotypical southern black guy. Lord Garth nails it on the head when he writes about MTV and Vh1 not getting into any trouble…but god forbid a movie with fake, Computer Generated Robots has a few stereotypes. If people are going to complain about this then they need to argue about shutting down TV completely.

  7. People in this world need to relax and stop looking for things to complain about. I don’t see anything wrong with those two robots. But lets say they are stereotypes. So what. Everyone knows exactly where those stereotypes come from…real life examples. People are lying if they try to deny it. So if those real life examples exist…whats the big deal imitating them. If someone was imitating me…I certainly wouldn’t feel I was being mistreated. I’d just laugh at myself like ohters should learn to.

  8. the real problem here is not racism. the real problem is everyone conforming to this pop culture BS. that might be OK if this was an original concept, but it’s the F’in TRANSFORMERS! you shouldnt just start throwing new characters into the mix of a twenty something year old idea anyway. These characters are the result of the production company and a desire to have one more toy for kids to go crazy over.

  9. @ Kofi

    “and has a good chance of breaking the $152.4 million record for a five-day opening, previously held by Spider-Man 2.”

    I thhough record for five day opening belonged to :

    1. TDK – 203.8 million
    2. Star Wars EIII – 172.8 million
    3. Pirates 2 DMC – 169.5 million
    4. Spiderman 3 – 169.4 million
    5. Spiderman 2 – 152.4 million

    I think the race thing is being blown way out of proportion unless somebody has definitive proof that Bay is a racist..

    Please post the link if you do..

  10. Gotta love the “true believer” fans coming out and trying to turn this around on Kofi.

    Is this another variant of the new McCarthyism?

    Quote: “Are you, Kofi Outlaw, saying that the way the Twins are presented on the film represents a race of our culture as idiotic, big gold tooth having, jack offs? If so it is you that is the racist.”

    Sounds an awful lot like: “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?”

    Geez folks, tone it down.

  11. The easiest way for some people to try and win an arguement is to scream that the guy who says a film maker is racially stereotyping is a racist himself..it’s a legitimate question if it is blatantly obvious..I haven’t seen the film but if there is this much of an outcry from different sites and blogs on the internet then there may be something to it..I however still think it is being blown out of proportion.

    @ jersey

    ” No Sir! I am not now nor have I ever been a Communist”

    Peace Brother!!

  12. I haven’t seen the film myself either, so *disclaimer* I can’t say definitively whether or not I think this amounts to robot “blackface”, but there are several other critics I’ve been observing, who are not prone to over-analyze race in film say that if it isn’t, it comes very, very close.

    With the aforementioned caveat above, the appearance of the robots combined with their described behavior makes it look like, at best, a failed attempt to critique non-blacks who try to emulate “gangsta” culture (and such a nuanced critique would be giving Bay a lot of credit one might say he hasn’t really earned, given his pedigree as the purveyor of all things un-nuanced) and at worst, well, I’m not going to label anyone as that yet. Certainly not without seeing the film, which in itself isn’t going to happen.

  13. i agree with Rob

    people nowadays are either looking for something to burn or are the ones being very judgemental.

    why does any comments made have to be so bad?
    people need to chill… i am Puerto Rican, and there is no single sould around here in OH that cant tell me that we see racism everyday

    people ask me if i am mexican, if i am from New York because of my accent, they give me looks when i go to my wife’s town ( no black people there even)

    we need to relax, understand that this 2 robots arent racial, and the people making it are the ones. I heard 2 robots goofin off and i dont think and analize their comments to try to find another meaning.

    what accent, what language and what “jargon” would be accepted? polite? urban? spanish? sarcastic? east? southern? “redneck”?

    it doesnt matter. this is blown out of the water

  14. People take a chill pill…..its crap like this that makes racism not go away!!!! just drop this crap!!! ask an african american or a african canadian if they are offended? why not do that? its seems like its white people making a ruckus over this….Yes i agree WTF!?!? with the new characters??? why not stick to the old format and give me those transformers?!?!?!

  15. Guys, I agree that in general, the term “racism” is thrown about way too loosely, but at the same time, my radar goes off when I hear people who aren’t normally prone to make such wild accusations start saying they were stunned by something.

  16. can’t wait number 3

  17. Also,

    Of all critics, Vic is one of the least “Politically Correct” I’m aware of and even he took notice of it in his review.

  18. i think vic just uses the fact he doesnt like the movies to become a critic…

    not working vic, if the movie wasnt good it wouldnt have made that much

    EVERY FILM i have studied in film studies /media studies at college portrays young black males vaugely simaler to mudflap and skids, so what

    bay is right
    im 17, and it keeps me watching

    transformers 3, cant wat

    R.I.P michael jackson

  19. @ mark

    You obviously never studied grammar before or during college.. ;) Just kidding..

  20. “…not working vic, if the movie wasnt good it wouldnt have made that much”

    How could someone going to any film school think this is a valid estimation of a film’s quality?

  21. Racist or not I would hardly want my kids to take after them or talk like them.
    I think its disgusting what movie studios Mtv,and the MPAA are doing to out culture and our children… Sending out the wrong message, is fricken understatement.

  22. The twins are so obscene. Its like when i refused to watch Cars because of the redneck stereotype.

    I prefer my black racial stereotypes to be overweight women who cook great food, attend church, and say “oh lord” all the time.

    I think it must be my fear that if i laugh at or enjoy whats being called black stereotype somehow i will look like a racist. Thats why i only accept greasy italians that run mobs, inbred raping southerners, indians that run convenience stores, chinese nerds that are great at math and electronics, white people that have no style, can’t dance, and can’t get laid, the drunken irish, terrorists from the middle east, frugal jews with lots of money, and French that run away from everything. hey remember in the hangover when Ken Jeong played that gay chinese crime leader that spoke terrible engrish?

    I think as long as we only use those stereotypes from now on we are in the clear.

  23. how is them talking like that racial?

    are you saying that only one group of people can talk like that? because THAT seems kind of racial to me.

    People (or robots) can talk and act however they want.

  24. Also, R.I.P. Michael Jackson

  25. Foofer,

    It’s not that only one group of people “can” talk like that, it’s that there is a definite cultural association with a particular group whether you agree with that or not, it’s just the way things are. Several stereotypes are also simply not neutral. If the illiteracy crack is as it has been reported, that would definitely put it over the top.

    Stereotypes have been handled responsibly before in many films.

    Just look at the earlier works of Mel Brooks. He used stereotypes in his films to undermine those who stereotype – (Thinking of the “Camptown Ladies” scene in “Blazing Saddles at the moment, just to pick one). When he uses stereotypes, it’s constantly at the service of making fools out of racists.

    However, Mel Brooks is a comedy genius. Michael Bay, well, as mentioned already, has not yet demonstrated much of a purpose beyond raw, impulsive spectacle. In that context – the only one Mr. Bay ever presents -, simply dropping in these stereotypes takes on an altogether different, and less palatable appearance.

  26. @790, MTV is a joke, they barely even play music anymore, and when they do, it’s garbage anyhow… They should just call themselves Ghetto Reality TV Channel and get it over with…

  27. No argument there Ken,,,
    Mtv is an American stain !!!

  28. @ 790,

    I agree, I work with children ages 4-7 and two of my 5 year olds saw it opening day with their parents. I heard them talking about it to the other little ones, and once I heard p*ssy I told them no more Transformers talk or time-out LOL. This one was MUCH more vulgar and risque than than part 1.

    This stereotype controversy on the other hand, I honestly didn’t think twice about it. Perhaps it’s because I’ve grown up in the south but I wasn’t offended by their ‘depicted personality’ anymore than I was offended by their language. It wasn’t any worse than the crude/racial humor used in mainstream cartoons like Family Guy or South Park.

    As for part 3, I wonder who is going to challenge the autobots? Megatron got pretty roughed up at the end by Optimus like in the cartoon movie, perhaps we might see the powerful Unicron like in ’86.

  29. I guess if you want to focus on this type of “slang” you can trace it back to rap music.
    I live in LA so yeah when I hear somebody talking that way, usually its a white kid???

    So yeah I can see how some ppl take offense to labeling those robots as black, but let’s get real, Rap Music is the reason that type of slang is being labeled as “acceptable. The robots do have characteristics that would imply rap stereotypes… Gold teeth, bad verbage etc.