It's done in fun," he said. "I don't know if it's stereotypes — they are robots, by the way. These are the voice actors. This is kind of the direction they were taking the characters and we went with it." 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."
Actor Reno Wilson, who is black, voices Mudflap. Tom Kenny, the white actor behind SpongeBob SquarePants, voices Skids. Wilson said Wednesday that he never imagined viewers might consider the twins to be racial caricatures. When he took the role, he was told that the alien robots learned about human culture through the Web and that the twins were "wannabe gangster types."
"It's an alien who uploaded information from the Internet and put together the conglomeration and formed this cadence, way of speaking and body language that was accumulated over X amount of years of information and that's what came out," the 40-year-old actor said. "If he had uploaded country music, he would have come out like that. It's not fair to assume the characters are black, he said. "It could easily be a Transformer that uploaded Kevin Federline data," Wilson said. "They were just like posers to me." Kenny did not respond to an interview request Wednesday.
"I purely did it for kids," the director said. "Young kids love these robots, because it makes it more accessible to them."
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Bay Defends Transformers Twins
Probably the one universal complaint from critics about the movie is the crude (and some call racist) humor, much of which comes from the Twins Mudflap (Reno Wilson) and Skids (Tom Kenny). I have read some reviews where the humor so offended the writer that they couldn't even attempt to enjoy the movie. From the AP, Michael Bay defends and somewhat dodges the charge of "racist robots". Thanks to Brian for the heads-up.