Senior Editor
06.24.09 24 Comments

Poor Michael Bay.  You use a couple jive-talking, gold-tooth wearing, breakdancing illiterate robots as comic relief and suddenly everyone’s calling you racist.  Maybe it’s you who’s racist.  Racist against awesome stuff.

Director Michael Bay insists that the bumbling ‘bots are just good clean fun.  “We’re just putting more personality in,” Bay said. “I don’t know if it’s stereotypes — they are robots, by the way. [Oh right, I forgot] These are the voice actors. This is kind of the direction they were taking the characters and we went with it.”

TV actor Reno Wilson, who is black, voices Mudflap. Tom Kenny, the white actor behind SpongeBob SquarePants, voices Skids.  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.”

Script excerpt: “Optimus Prime walks up to [HILARIOUS RACIAL STEREOTYPE TK.]. OPTIMUS: ‘Hey you worthless [HILARIOUS ETHNIC SLUR TK.]s, why don’t you get off your asses and get a job instead of blowing all your robot welfare money on [HILARIOUS ETHNIC FOOD TK.]?’ Hold for laughter.”

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

Screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman said they followed Bay’s lead in creating the twins. Still, the characters serve no real purpose in the story, and when the action gets serious, they disappear entirely. [Yahoo]

Orci and Kurtzman added that they weren’t able to squeeze in a few of Bay’s other ideas, like Squint, a “math bot” who’s bad at driving, or Grease Spot, an Autobot who can transform into a Puerto Rican flag and spends all day on his stoop “being loud.”   And then there was Tiger, Bay’s beloved but ultimately abandoned idea for a tiger who can transform into “a bigger tiger.”

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