The Twins, racist?? Article I found

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by Sideswipe80, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. Sideswipe80

    Sideswipe80 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Posts:
    10,367
    News Credits:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +27
    Found this on Super Hero Hype

    TRANSFORMERS' LITTLE BLACK SAMBOTS?
    By Devin Faraci Published Today News


    I am not a PC person. Those who know me in real life will attest that if an off-color, offensive or wildly juvenile joke needs to be made it'll likely be me making it. I think people are too sensitive in the modern world, and I don't think any topic is off-limits when it comes to laughs.

    That said, even I was stupefied by what I saw in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen's Twins. These new robots, who begin the film conjoined as a ****** old ice cream truck but who soon get upgraded into Chevy concept cars, seem to be the most extreme racial caricatures seen in a movie in decades. The Twins have a simian appearance, with wide faces and huge ears. One of them (full disclosure: I am not sure which is which, namewise. This isn't a problem limited to just these robots in Transformers 2 as I couldn't tell most robots apart, except for Optimus Prime and Bumblebee) has a gold bucktooth. They have a 'playful' back and forth relationship, which includes them talking in some sort of modern day rap-age jive, calling each other '*****-ass' or 'punk,' talking with an exaggerated, crunked-up 'street' accent. They appear to be stoned all the time. And they can't read; when asked to translate some ancient Cybertronian language they sheepishly admit they 'don't do much readin'.' To be fair, only Primes can read this language, but even the completely idiotic mini-bot (and Italian stereotype) Wheelie can at least recognize what the writing is. The Twins are completely illiterate, it seems. I was actually surprised that the film didn't find a way to make them wear a Transformers version of baggy pants.

    To be completely shocked by this is admittedly kind of foolish. Quite a bit was made of Jazz, the black Autobot in the first film, who did a breakdance move and got killed. But The Twins make Jazz look like a paragon of taste, and they make Jar Jar Binks look like he belongs in a production of A Raisin in the Sun. Simply put they are offensive beyond measure, and if their names were Stepin and Fetchit I could maybe argue that they were a joke or a bit of meta-commentary or anything except horrible, horrible racial stereotypes.

    At the press conference for the film I asked writer Alex Kurtzman about the characters. 'I think a lot of what we did was following Michael's lead,' he said. 'Those characters, more than any other, he had the strongest instinct for. Our job was to keep up with him.'

    Buck passed! So then it was all Michael Bay's idea to have these shucking and jiving bots, right?

    Not so fast. Bay was eager to give all the credit for the Twins to Tom Kenny, the (white) voice actor. '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. With animation, you get the dialogue and then some animation and then a bit more of the dialogue and you keep going back and forth and it just builds until you have the shot you want.'

    (For the record, Bay mentions a second voice actor while IMDB lists Kenny as the voice of both bots)

    Bay went on to say that his vision of the Twins is that he wanted bots with whom the younger audience could really identify, and the funny thing is that I actually believe him. I don't think he set out to make two grotesque caricatures; I think he honestly believes these characters reflect some aspect of youth culture and not just a cartoony, broad vision of black youth. Bay's films have never been all that racially sensitive (and blacks aren't the only group to take a hit in this film; as mentioned above, Wheelie is a flat-out dago, even going so far as to refer to ancient Transformer Jetfire as 'da Chairman of da Board,' and there's some choice Arabic humor in the film as well), but the Twins surely represent an all-time low.

    Would they have been as offensive if Bay had gotten a black actor for the voices? There certainly would be less of a feeling of weirdness if Katt Williams had come in for some shucking and jiving, although it would still have been... off. Bay's defense seems to be that Tom Kenny came in and just Sambo'd it up, as if he had no way of knowing what sort of racially insensitive schtick the actor would bring. That's hugely unlikely; Bay isn't prisoner to the whims of his actors, especially not a voice actor.

    What the whole Twins debacle really reveals, though, is the sheer lack of adult supervision on this film. Transformers 2 is hugely bloated, incoherent, stupid and boring, seemingly all because Bay was free to indulge in his most Bayish impulses. The first film is rescued by the restraining hand of Spielberg; that hand is noticeably gone here. It's stunning to think that anyone in the 21st century looked at the character designs of the Twins or listened to the voice tracks and thought that this was 'okay.'


    What do you guys think?
     
  2. shroobmaster

    shroobmaster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Posts:
    13,629
    News Credits:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    201
    Likes:
    +30
    I think that guy would hate... WAIT... what was the name of the black rapping GI JOE again?
     
  3. Lateralus

    Lateralus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Posts:
    511
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Likes:
    +0
    I think its a movie.
     
  4. Colonel Manface

    Colonel Manface Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Posts:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Likes:
    +0
    Uhm... this kinda seems like the kind of guy who was gonna pick at something, it doesn't really matter what it is. I mean... I'm pretty PC and all, but the Twins didn't offend me. The whole "gangsta" thing just seemed like them trying to act tough, which made perfect sense in context of the characters. This guy just seems to think they're racist stereotypes for the sake of racist stereotypes. It's kinda silly.

    And he picks on Jazz? I mean... come on, Jazz has always been like that, to make such a deal out of it now is just so stupid, but then again, this guy probably didn't do a lot of research, and since he took IMDb as a source, I'm not thinking too much of his ability to evaluate sources and look at something with a critical eye. It's the Wikipedia of movie sites for Gods sake, doesn't everybody know that?

    It's just stupid. Really it is. I mean, it's a sore point, the whole race issue, but it wasn't meant offensively and this guy took it as some kind of weird... ignorant thing when it actually fit the characters. Plus they're robots for Gods sake, it doesn't make any sense to hold them to the same standards as you would normal people, and if anything, his identification of those characteristics and assumption that they were stereotyping of the young black community is racism in itself.

    It's ridiculous, completely ridiculous. People just pick on this stuff for no reason and fail to see that they really are looking too much into it.
     
  5. iheartarcee

    iheartarcee Idonotheartbeastwars

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Posts:
    1,868
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Likes:
    +0
    someone should tell this guy there are no such thing as robots disguised as cars and maybe he could talk about real stuff like people getting their heads cut off in Mexico over drugs..
     
  6. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Posts:
    2,613
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +0
    Roadblock, muthaf***a!

    If you get in his way, you'll sure rue the day. He'll cook a souffle' and blow Cobra away!

    Sheeeeeeet.

    (Edit), Man. Shortpacked's archives suck.

    [​IMG]

    - Coeloptera
     
  7. Sideswipe80

    Sideswipe80 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Posts:
    10,367
    News Credits:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +27
    LOL. You sir have made my evening lol.
     
  8. shroobmaster

    shroobmaster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Posts:
    13,629
    News Credits:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    201
    Likes:
    +30
    Rumors say that The Fallen is a terribly racist portrayal of the egyptians!

    Not to mention Jetfire being a RACIST OLD MAN HIMSELF!
     
  9. jonatron26

    jonatron26 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Posts:
    1,930
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Likes:
    +0
    ugh.... i dont want this to turn into another jazz argument...
    does doing one dance move and a "whats crackin lil bitchs" make something racist? jazz was the best autobot. he was serious the whole time excluding the intro but maybe a giant space robot was trying to relate to the ally. no one ever points out how he didnt stop reminding prime that they couldnt let BB stay captured and he (the smallest autobot) tried to stop megatron. and he was the first one to strike brawl. jazz is a hero, not a joke
     
  10. jonatron26

    jonatron26 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Posts:
    1,930
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Likes:
    +0
    :lol  what are the stereotypes for egyptians? is it how they walk?
     
  11. Lazerbeak

    Lazerbeak Keronian Ambassador

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Posts:
    1,641
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +0
    Why can no characters ever act like that in movies now? Every time a character uses ebonics, or (in the case of Wheelie) talks like a mobster, then the first reaction the PC-Patrol has is that the film is clearly implying "lol durrhurr look guys all italians and black folk act like this durrhurr heil hitler".

    The author mentions Stepin Fetchit, now if the twins acted like that, it would be racist because nobody acts like that. It's an exaggerated caricature intentionally meant to ridicule black people. But the whole gangsta/thug character Jazz and (supposedly) the twins emulate really isn't racist considering a great deal of people (and by no means just black people) really do act like that nowadays. It's like in the 70's saying JJ from Good Times is a racist character because he keeps using jive slang which was popular at the time.

    If anything, the author seems quite prejudiced because he seems to immediately equate the illiteracy and use of urban slang of two barely human-looking robot characters to black people. By this author's logic, all characters should speak 100% perfect English, in a deadpan tone, with nary a hint of any sort of accent or dialect, because otherwise, you may *gasp* offend someone!
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
  12. NGW

    NGW Rawr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Posts:
    7,669
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +13
    But Skids and Mudflap are green and orange, not black :confused: 

    Unless of course the author of that article is implying that illiteracy, gangsta behavior, saying things like "bitch ass" and all that is characteristic of just black people.

    And he's calling the movie racist.

    Pshaw.
     
  13. seanc1906

    seanc1906 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Posts:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Likes:
    +0
    I'm a 32 year-old black man who grew up on Transformers. With that being said, I did find Jazz to be a bit over-the-top.

    Jazz on the cartoon, whether it be G1 or Animated has always been a leader, a second in command. Although he was obviously black and spoke in rhyme, it was tasteful. To this day, I get an uneasy feeling when I watch the whole breakdancing "what's crackin little bitches?".

    From what I've read and seen from the trailers, the Twins are even worse. "We don't do much readin" combined with the gold tooth that one allegedly has is ultimately in poor taste in my opinion. Offensive? Sure. Is it going to make me wanna call Jesse Jackson and boycott the movie? Of course not. It's just one of those things we learn to deal with.

    I don't expect you guys to understand, but just giving my .02
     
  14. Covenant

    Covenant Mr. Roboto in Disguise

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Posts:
    1,574
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +0
    Ebay:
    The guy obviously doesn't care for Bay. I can understand that. But behind anything you could label as a nitpicking attack is a truth. If it doesn't bother you, fine, but you cannot honestly or intelligently ignore the fact they killed off the black Autobot in the first film, then ran with caricatures on young black ghetto-ish stereotypes. Me? I'd have been pissed about them killing off Jazz in the first film if I'd actually liked this incarnation of him. But that ain't a race thing. And the Twins? Having only seen their bits from the commercials (all the commercials), seen them, seen the tooth, the iliteracy, etc, I'm not offended, just shocked. I'm sure they come off as humorous in their own way, which of course was the intent, and those young black folks actually living in ghetto-ish areas might laugh their assess off at some of that shit, meanwhile the uptight PC folks will take the angle of this article and go racialrage on it. He didn't pick on Jazz for being the Black Bot, he noted the obvious aspects then the fact that in the first film they killed him. And drug related beheadings? The guy's from Super Hero Hype ffs. How about a little more reality in replies and less instant-over-defense just because its the next Bayformer film, eh? It's OKAY to admit racial stereotypes, people. Cliches exist for a reason. That reason usually being the fact that enough of a certain group act in ways common enough to have a sense of humor about.
     
  15. Deceptigtar

    Deceptigtar Sworn Decepticon Assassin

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Posts:
    13,007
    News Credits:
    63
    Trophy Points:
    277
    Likes:
    +64
    Ebay:
    who cares, they are awesome in the movie.
     
  16. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Posts:
    20,316
    Trophy Points:
    322
    Likes:
    +80
    Tonight on CNN headline news...People read too much into shit that doesn't matter.

    Followed up by Lindsay Lohan's mass orgy with Shia Lebouf and Megan Fox, video all day long.
     
  17. NGW

    NGW Rawr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Posts:
    7,669
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +13
    Yes I can, Jazz was silver.

    Ironhide was the black autobot.

    Honestly, I see more white kids acting like that than black ones.
     
  18. Nervol

    Nervol Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Posts:
    205
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Likes:
    +1
    Skids and Mudflap seem to be more like Hillbillys that try to act Ghetto
     
  19. NGW

    NGW Rawr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Posts:
    7,669
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +13
    Was just thinking to post the same thing.

    At least with Jazz, he sounded black (I mean, he was voiced by a black actor after all).

    The Twins are more like the "gangsta" white kids you're likely to see that try and act stereotypical black/ghetto gangster. Hell, they even have a tinge of a southern accent to them.
     
  20. Nachtsider

    Nachtsider Banned

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Posts:
    12,544
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    201
    Likes:
    +3
    Reading too much into toys and a movie based on them.

    Yeeeeeaaaaaahhhh.
     

Share This Page