A Brief History of the Racist Autobots Exiled from Transformers 3
My heart can't take all this bad news today! First, Jeff Fahey attempted to drag me out of denial, forcing me to finally acknowledge that Lost's Frank Lapidus was really, truly dead. (But we didn't see a body, Jeff!) Now, Michael Bay has revealed that the racist, gold-toothed Autobots named Mudflaps and Skids will not be returning to Transformers 3 after their jaw-dropping introduction in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Though I have no doubt that Bay will replace them with something equally mind-boggling, I think we need to pay those two their due first.
We first met these robots last June, just prior to the release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, when Movieline singled them out as one of the 9 most shameless aspects of that movie:
There are two robots in the film called Mudflap and Skids, and despite being red and green, respectively, they are voiced in a way that clearly designates them to be the "black" robots. Also, Skids has a gold front tooth (no, I'm serious) and both cannot read.
We were so innocent then! Little did we know that these two creatures would jive-talk their way into our hearts, all summer long. First, though, we had the blame game: When Movieline asked writers Alex Kutzman and Robert Orci whose idea it was to give Skids a gold tooth, they passed the buck. "That was Michael," Kurtzman said, laughing. "That was definitely Michael." Later, Orci told Film School Rejects, "I'm not easily offended, but when I saw it, I thought, 'Someone's gonna write about that.'"
"But what's to be offended about?" Bay argued. In an AP piece called "Jive-talking twin Transformers raise race issues," the director laid out his case:
"We're just putting more personality in," Bay said. "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."
Bay said the twins' parts "were kind of written but not really written, so the voice actors is when we started to really kind of come up with their characters."
"I purely did it for kids," the director said. "Young kids love these robots, because it makes it more accessible to them." [...]
"Listen, you're going to have your naysayers on anything," he said. "It's like is everything going to be melba toast? It takes all forms and shapes and sizes."
And yet, now they're dead. Which is also a stereotype.
The Twins Won't be Back for Transformers 3 [SuperHero Hype]