I never thought that I would be reporting good news about Transformers 3. Last week I reported that human suck magnet Jamie Kennedy was cast in the film, as well as that kid from Can’t Buy Me Love. There’s actually a surprising amount of solid acting pedigree in the movie — Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, and the quite funny Ken Jeong as well. Of course, that means nothing because look what Michael Bay did to poor John Turturro — reduced to being forced to run around in his underpants in the first one, and run around a giant pair of steel testicles in the second. Yeesh.
Anyway, the good news… or rather the less bad news, is that Skids and Mudflap, the horrifically derogatory and denigrating duo that I affectionately refer to as the Stepin Fetchit Twins, will not be returning. Bay received a substantial amount of backlash for the characters (which were his sole creation and not the responsibility of writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci). In Dustin’s review, in fact, he said “Mudflap and Skids, the Jar Jar African-American racial caricatures (gold tooth, hip-hop lovin’, bad slang, can’t read) of Transformers, …really are offensive, though it’s not too surprising: Racists have notoriously small dicks.”
Yeah. When I read that, I figured he was overreacting, since he’s all sensitive and shit. He’s not. They were two of the most ridiculously ignorant characters I’ve ever seen. Bay posted a quick and easy response that said, simply, “The Twins are not back in T3” on The Official Michael Bay Forums, which… actually exists. Mind=blown. Oh, don’t go there. I’m warning you. It’s like gazing into the abyss. The people that post there are… they’re different. Wrong somehow. I realize that sounds hypocritical from someone who writes and comments on a movie website, but… trust me.
Regardless, it’s good to know that a big enough backlash can prevent a director from continuing to use idiotically stereotyped characters. Now if only we can generate enough backlash to get the series to stop altogether (and I actually guiltily admit to sort of enjoying the first one). What’s that? They’ve grossed a more than 1.5 billion dollars worldwide? Oh, fuck. So much for that idea.