Skids and Mudflap

Skids and Mudflap

I look forward to summer tentpole movies way more than a grown woman should.  I love blockbusters. Even though the freshness of a Casino Royale, Spider-man or Dark Knight is relatively rare.  Even though women are usually playing roles modelled on the Supremes.  Even though people of color are often playing deep background like the Commodores — “the shiny Negroes in the back, not Lionel Ritchie”. ( h/t Ed Dunn).

But Skids and Mudflap are too much for me.

Dated beyond belief —

Punk ass bitch?

Inaccurate —

Ahem, I believe it was pop a cap in your ass.

They’re illiterate.  One them has a golden grill for his teeth —

SO, 2000 and late.

But an informal poll at Dr. Boyce Watkins site indicates that many, presumably black people, didn’t see the characters as racist.

Given all the recent debate, do you find the two new “black” robots in ‘Transformers 2’ racist stereotypes?

No

57%
I have not seen the movie 23%
Yes 19%
Not sure/No comment 1%

Hmmm.

The film features other folks of color:  Tyrese Gibson, Rainn Wilson.

No disrespect to actors Reno Wilson or Tom Kenny.  Work is work.

Maybe these characters are lazy, tired stereotypes placed to ensure a diverse audience.  And maybe it’s the screenwriters vision to use their vision of black cool for comic relief.

But it bothers me that Mudflap and Skids also happen to validate stereotypes that are being profoundly challenged by POTUS Obama.

And what happened to Screenwriting 101?  Minimize topical cultural references since they date a film.

I was bothered by this kind of jigging in Dance Flick too but let’s get serious.  As of today,

Transformers 2 domestic gross              $214,931,195

Danceflick domestic gross                         $  25,157,194

Thoughts?

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About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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