Saturday, June 20, 2009

Is 'Transformers 2' shamelessly sexist and racist?

To be fair, I haven't seen Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I've just been reading up on what people who have watched it think. Admittedly I didn't mind the first one, but I only watched it for Shia LaBeouf and I didn't think a sequel was needed, even though, I'd be a fool not to have expected one. Anyway, back to the topic at hand. A couple of movie blogs have pointed out that the new Transformers could possibly be racist and sexist:

From Movieline via The Playlist:

2. 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.

3. Every single woman in this film is sexually objectified, save for John Turturro’s mother. Every single one — even Shia’s mom! Whenever there is a scene set in a combat unit or government office, there are no women featured or even glimpsed because then they’d have to be wearing pants, presumably.

From The Movie Blog:
Saw Transformers 2 last night. There is an embargo on reviews until opening day (which is stupid since the European guys all have their reviews up already. So all I’ll say right now is this: Lots of things to love, lots of things to hate… but the “Twins” are the new Jar Jar Binks in all the worst ways you can imagine.

Now John over at The Movie Blog doesn't say outright that the two robot characters are racist in his post. But he does say that they are racist caricatures in the comments section. So, I can't judge until I see the film in its entirety. But when movie blogs not known for heavily discussing things like racism in movies start saying something is racist, I pay attention. I'm going to have to do a follow up post when I see the movie.

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  1. Jeroen (Dutchman)June 22, 2009 at 6:37 AM

    The movie seems to be aimed at the teenage population, trademarks fore such movies are to be identifiable as cool and such perhaps thats why the two small robots talk slang stylish, but that they "dont do much readin" is something i see in most of my fellow students on the countryside, not interested in books etc

    i cant imagine that they had implanted such characters with an racists motive, especially considering that Tyrese Gibson had an large role (and as an "cool" character) in the first film and probably will have in this film.

    about the sexist thing.... absolutely just watch an diary like movie on youtube about how the producers choose to make Megan Fox look even more sexy (by means of slow motions shots close ups and so on)

  2. I just saw the movie today, and have to tell you that it's the first movie I've walked out on since the last Indiana Jones. I'm not sure if the "black" robots thingy was necessarily racist, as much as it was just plain stupid. Truth is, you don't have to be an "African American" or "female" to be insulted by this movie. Every audience member has a right to feel belittled by this movie's riduclous antics. Fans of this movie are claiming that it was desparately trying to appeal to a younger audience, but is our youth really that stupid and unsophisticated. My 12 year-old daughter asked me "why was every woman in the movie either trying to seduce a man or saying something sex-related?" Well, what should my response be Mr. Bay???