I originally posted this on the Afro Spear blog last week & decided to cross post it here because it’s getting such a strong response there. Like a real strong response. The movie has been out for week now & the controversy has been swirling. Have a read & leave your thoughts. I’m interested in your thoughts.
Transformers: Racism That Meets The Eye
June 25, 2009 by Tafari
Yesterday, I made it a point to go see “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” in IMAX. Ever since the last Transformers theatrical release I had been giddy for more.
Hours before I headed to the movies, I started reading posts online that discussed racism in the movie but still I pressed on to Showcase Cinemas and dropped $10.50 for my ticket.
Fast forwarding 2.5 hours later. I’m walking out of the theater with my mind blown for many reasons; 1st, the movie was so action packed I thought I was going to slip into a seizure. 2nd the movie was overtly sexually, which made it seem like an R rated movie instead of PG-13 and 3rd The racism that was built into the movie billed as comedic relief.
As I drove home, I tried to reconcile the racism but I could not, so I decided to sleep on it. So this morning, when I woke up, I actually got mad about what I saw in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” The racism that I’m talking about in case you don’t already know is dealing with the Autobot twins “Skids” and “Mudflap” or the “ Little Black Sambo[ts].”
- Both of the twins talk like they are straight from a Lil Wayne video.
- The play the dozens (crack jokes on each other and anyone else) in every scene.
- They are seemingly proud of the fact that they cannot read. “Read?! Nuh-uh…” “No, we don’t really do much readin’!”
- Skids has a GOLD front tooth. Yes, a big bucked out gold tooth
- The names “Skids” and “Mudflap” imply darkness and or nastiness.
- Do I really need to add a 6th, you should get the picture now.
(Wait, for extra measure, if you want to see another relevant countdown list, you have to read this. “7 reasons why Transformers 2 might be racist…”)
With all this now parsed out, I’m wondering why and how this stereotypical bullshit slipped past Michael Bay and Paramount Pictures. Did they care? Did they know? Did they think it was OK?
I feel bad and torn because I actually liked the movie a lot, but how could I in good conscious? Maybe it’s the kid in me remembering watching the cartoon way back in the mid 80s.
Although the racism pisses me off about this flick, I was also disturbed about the adult content and overt hypersexuality. But like I said, I liked the movie, so what does this mean about me?
I know I won’t see the movie again, nor will I purchase the DVD. I do not want my kids seeing this mess and not only that it’s so not a kids movie. Don’t let the PG-13 rating fool you!
Transformers used to be all about the kids way back when, but not so much now thanks to Michael Bay and Paramount Pictures. I’m just saying.
Side note: This post is not nearly what I wanted it to be. Not at all! My thoughts are with and on Michael Jackson. As I wrap this up, I’m chair dancing to “Off The Wall” while I try to control my urge to cry about a man that reached my soul through song, dance and beauty.