Saturday, July 11, 2009

ROTF Writers Talk Racism and The Twins

One of the things I have noticed in recent interviews with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman is a small degree of distancing from the more crass humor in the movie, especially from the Twins and "testicles" on Devastator. The duo spoke with Film School Rejects about The Twins and completed the "don't look at me" transition.

Cole: I heard that the gold tooth was Michael Bay’s idea, but do you have any response to those who found The Twins offensive?
Orci: Number one, we sympathize. Yes, the gold tooth was not in the script, that’s true.
Kurtzman: It’s really hard for us to sit here and try to justify it. I think that would be very foolish, and if someone wants to be offended by it, it’s their right. We were very surprised when we saw it, too, and it’s a choice that was made. If anything, it just shows you that we don’t control every aspect of the movie.

Cole: Were you offended by them?
Kurtzman: I wasn’t thrilled. I certainly wasn’t thrilled.
Orci: Yeah, same reaction. I’m not easily offended, but when I saw it, I thought, ‘Someone’s gonna write about that.’”
From what I have read, pretty much the source of most of the humor that people have groaned about and found offensive came from the mind of third ROTF writer of Ehren Kruger and director Michael Bay. I am sure there is some mix and match from all four but based on the duos previous writing efforts the rumor has validity. I guess depending on your view of the movie's humor, this makes Kruger a new writer to watch or one to avoid. (via TFW2005)


  1. If this gold tooth becomes e v en more of a problem they can just take it out and it would make sence because he lost it at the final battle in RoTF. They can do that or they can just give him a silver one or keep it yellow.

    just some options

  2. captainCOURAG37/11/2009 9:08 AM

    You know, i am tired of this racist drama! Everyone is calling the characters, Mudflap and Skids, a racist depiction of us black people. I don't feel like they represent us at all. They represent the Hip Hop culture. Furthermore, so everyone feels like the twins are racial characterizations of the black community. My question is this. Is that how you all view African Americans? Because when i watched it, I viewed them as a couple of knuckle heads who were young and naive pranksters always goofing off. I think it's pretty funny that everyone is up in arms about it, but when i ask if that's what they think of us all, they tend to not say anything. In my eyes, that's more racist than anything in the movie ever was.

  3. I really don't know why everyone has a problem with the twins. I really don't. I think it's stupid that people are saying that the twins are racist. It's really stupid. I thought they were hilarious, and so did everyone in the theater that I went to. I loved the twins and I hope they act the same way in transformers 3

  4. I find it interesting that people think the gold tooth meant the characters were representing black people. Are they the only ones that have that? Because someone (or someTHING in this case) has a gold tooth they are automatically trying to be black?

    The dialogue and intelectual level of the two robots made me think they were backwood hicks. Not once while watching the movie did I think they were making fun of black people or being racist. If anything, it's closer to them acting like Eminem ... during his earlier years. "Just a couple of kids from the country trying to act cool" is how they came off to me.

    It wasn't until the media started spinning this that I actually started wondering if there was something to it. Then I realized I was falling into the same trap as most mindless Americans ... I was allowing myself to be lead by the media and not actually thinking for my self.

    Kurtzman and Orci are trying to cover their ass, and I hope this is the last straw. I hope they don't come back for the next one. Not because I thought the script writing was bad, but because it's obvious they have no respect for the industry.


  5. I have the same sentiments as the previous posters. I really enjoyed the twins and didn't see racism at all. That was all media-hype. I've had friends who watched this movie thinking it was racist, but you know, I just kept my mouth shut because they're kinda snooty with their artsy fartsy movies anyway. haha

  6. I agree with everyone here. lol I loved the movie, even if there was a few flaws, i did feel the humor was a bit forced at times, and didn't flow as well as the humor in the first film. But i found the twins to be funny, i really liked them. I felt they were making fun of, if anything, "wannabe white boys" you know? lol I mean, if they were made to talk like hillbillies, no one would have said a damn word about it being racist. I am tired of the race card being thrown out there when there is no reason to. I really felt they went for a genre with them and not "these robots are black!"

  7. And to captainCOURAG3. I, being white, sure as hell DO NOT see everyone who is black in that way. I am sorry that there are people who don't answer you when you ask them that and by that, pretty much tell you that is what some think of every black person. Like i was saying in my post, i felt the twins were as you stated. I feel if you wanted to say something was racist, it would be the fact that you brought up about some people actually thinking that's how all black people are. I even hate saying, white people, or black people, but i have to with this topic. In the end is doesn't matter though. I think with the twins, it's an issuse when it didn't need to be. Like, not sure if anyone knows who Mike Epps is, but hands down, he is my favorite actor ever. I have watch his stand up comdey, where he makes fun of white people straight out and it's the funnist stuff i have seen! I just wish people would lighten up a bit.

  8. Omg. People, seriously grow up. The twins were not meant to be hurtful towards anyone. Michael Bay was going for a laugh, not a stereotypical racial slur. Lighten up people. This is so ridiculous so shut up! Why is it okay for "black people" to make fun of "white people" and it's not called racism. Stop trying to get more attention by saying everything you see or hear is racism. It is not. It is for FUN! It's for a LAUGH. Lighten up and stop taking everything so seriously!!!!!

  9. wasnt one of the voice actors of the twins black anyways? I think people are being fragile little wuss bags if they walk around getting offended at every pathetic little thing. Are black people the only ones with gold teeth? (think back to Home Alone 1 when Joe Pesci's character gets hit in the face with a paint can. what did Joe lose? his gold tooth. The whole comment about the twins not being able to read was when they were talking about the ancient cybertronia language of the primes. Besides the article talks about bob and alex not putting the tooth thing in the script, that was bays idea.

  10. I don't even get the buzz about Skids and Mudflap. It's their behaviour style,so PLS STOP CRITISING THE ROBOTS!!!Sheesh...the "balls" of Devastator is another thing,but it doesn't really matter that much to me(i guess).

  11. I remember reading somewhere about Bay having the script to himself during the hollywood writers' strike... I can't copy & paste from Wikipedia, but basically the writers gave Bay a 'treatment' or outline of the script, the night before the strike began. Bay expanded this to a 60-page script, adding most of the new characters, more jokes, and detailing some of the action.

    Hence I reckon that most of this would rest with Bay... he seemingly had the script for himself for a while & hence 'wrote' much of it himself, which was later expanded on by the writers after the strike.

  12. I'd heard about the supposed racist twins before the premier and tried to watch TF2 from that angle but I simply didn't see it. Not once did I think to myself, Yeah they're black. Idiots, Yes but black No. The problem here is liberals are the racists. Non-liberals don't see race, they just see other human beings or other robots. My brother who lives in Memphis, TN watched it with a %50 black audience and he said they loved the movie. Using the liberal logic from the twins, we would also have to conclude that Bay and company believe all white mothers are idiots and all white fathers are asses. What I conclude from the movie is Bay has a goofy (the twins) and oftentimes perverted (leg humping robot) sense of humor.

  13. This whole 'racist' thing has now get far too out of hand.

    Personally i think, like all things in this world the interpretation of these characters is down to individual perception...HOWEVER, since the media has broadcast that these two characters represent a negative racial stereotype, i think many people have let that spin on them affect thier own judgement....Which is an unfortunate by product of living in such a media driven age as many of us are used to being force fed our opinions by what the mainstream media tells us we should think or feel to anything out in the public domain....

    Ok so maybe thats a little deep, but lets look at the facts...

    TF2 has generally been badly recieved by critics....who using their 'professional' opinion took their negative bias toward the film and tried to justify their opinion by twisting the character traits of 2 secondary characters as some sort of racial commentary.

    Now having seen this film 3 times in theatres...with people of mixed ages and races...the only perception i have seen from 'real' people in the audience was that they were well recieved raising laughs and applause.

    Admittedly i AM white, so i have not been on the wrong end of racial slurs, however i did not see Skids and Mudflap as a slur on black people....

    If anything, i think they were depicted as a couple of young and insecure new kids on the block that in the presence of such distinguished veterans (ie Prime, Ironhide, Bumblebee etc) felt the need to talk up their personas to feel accepted....Talking the talk, without walking the walk....

    If you ask me, this is typical 'whiteboy' syndrome....feeling the need to act 'street' in an attempt to make oneself larger than life....but in doing so reveals ones own inadequacies as the perception of what is deemed cool, or tough is completly misread....and as a result pretending to be something that you are not is more revealing of your weaknesses than simply accepting your own shortcomings.

    On this level (as i interpretted them) i feel they comic relief showing that even an advanced alien cybernetic lifeform can still feel inadequate next to more established and respected figures, and try to make up for that by trying to be something they are not, and in the process get it so wrong and become laughable.

    This is very human, making them not only comic relief but also relatable....

    Sacha Baron Cohen in his ALI G incarnate....did this very same thing to great success for many years...

    He wasnt meant to be black, he was supposed to a white boy ACTING black because his misplaced social perception of what was was cool made him think to talk 'black' would make him cool...

    that sort of social commentary was not deemed racist then....and thus the twins are not now.

  14. one of the voice actors is black. what are the directors supposed to say to him "make sure you act white?" I think those that are offended by stuff like this need to let go of the fragile wuss bag routine. Joe Pesci's character in Home Alone lost his gold tooth when the paint can hit him in the face...Joe Pesci is white. The comment about "we dont read" was referring to ancient cybertronian symbols that even Bumblebee couldnt read.

  15. So if the twins are a racist stereoype, then Michael Bay (as the director) must be a racist for doing them like that; the very same man that directed Bad Boys 1 & 2, The Island, Pearl Harbor, Armageddon, Transformers, all of which had an black actor among the principal characters.

    Also if the twins are racist towards black people, then Sam's parents are racist towards white people for showing them being pretty stupid and clueless; or Leo Spitz is racist towards latinos for showing him like a horny and coward guy, etc.

  16. Lets face it people have their own opinions but in this case the critics are completly wrong they are the ones being racist "FACT" Mudflap is played by a black actor and he didnt find this offencive in anyway the gold tooth on skids was to make his character colourful for young ones since he is green and bright but the tooth could have also been there to try and be hip like alot of young people in our days.

    the thing i find must racist about the critics is how they just jump to the fact that they are black by the way they act i bet you if the critics went to the streets and seen people walking with headbands on and baggy clothes and stuff going for a ganster look they may not be black and the twins were most certanly not BLACK.

    i love black people because they have a sense of humar which the world needs in our days they are a kind race of people and i see them as what i am and we are all human

    skids and mudflap are aliens but they have a human characteristic so they need a genre

    Prime - Army type of leader
    Ironhide - Chuck Norris type of guy
    Ratchet - Bones from star trek
    Jazz - the laid black cool dude
    Bumblebee - the shy but sweet hero
    Skids and mudflap - The Ganster wanabes

    everyone needs a personality and i think they have a good one even though they are not real somehow the world sees them as real so i do to they are jsut normal cool robots who made most of the film so lay back

  17. One of the problems I have with movies is that they're afraid to show an element of real life that people consider "bad". At the end of the day there are frickin people in real life wearing frickin gold teeth and frickin swearing. Also, FACT: anyone calling these robots racists ARE racists, it's actually a way to spot a racist. They represent the ghetto culture NOT black people, unless you want them to...

  18. No Bay, Orci or Kurtzman for TF3 and I will be a happy man.

  19. I just wanted to let you know that I thought this movie was really good (especially for the second; sometimes the sequel is not as good as the first, definitely not the case with this one!). But I do want to express as a parent that the vile language was not appropriate for the PG-13 rating. I don't know why producers/directors/writers think that the public enjoys this kind of filthy talking. It's not funny AND no one laughed at the jokes and cursing in the theatre anyway. It would be a better movie if that kind of language was omitted. People want lots of action, a good story and wholesome good vs. evil entertainment. Thanks for listening and adherring.

  20. I agree with everyone above

    But ESPECIALLY Anon @1:06AM

    Because he says it all there.

    I never once saw the twins as black, or supposed to be. They seemed more like the White guys who try to be black, because they want to fit in, or something or other.

    They're also, probably the youngest autobots on the team, next to Bumblebee (He's not that young, but i'd say next to the other ones, if he was a human, he'd fall into his early-mid 20s I think)

    I just wish people would open their eyes, and figure this out. But no. It seems they can't.

  21. The whole debacle over the Twins reminds me of why I steer clear of most discussions about almost anything — there are always the abrasive few who will be heard over the many voices of reason regardless of whether their compaints hold any merit or not.

    This is all a bunch of very noisy people projecting their own issues concerning race onto two wannabe-gangsta robots. Its asinine.

  22. In all honesty, I thought they were supposed to be Rednecks. So did Ya know, if we find them offensive, then I think we should find every white kid that acts ghetto and lynch them for being offensive to black people or something. It's like finding the Taco Bell chihuahua offensive.

  23. The golf tooth issue is just plain silly. The humor was another thing entirely! I thought it was too crude based on what I, as an audience member, was expecting after watching the first one. There was SOME humor like that in the first one, but ROTF took it to a whole new level that I didn't like. Overall, I liked the movie, but if I could sit in the editor's chair, there were about 5 or 6 "jokes" that would have ended up on the cutting room floor.

  24. to explain the racism.
    the twins are characterized as being dumb, as well as black.

    now humans everywhere have their share of dumb people and geniuses.

    the problem comes to this, are things equal?

    and if things are not equal how can we help the minority to be seen in a better light?

    does casting the dumb character as black help? i am not black, but i do know that some people have devoted their lives to be treated equal. as that deserves respect, i would be very cautious in portraying people who had to fight so hard with such little dignity.

    if all things were equal, then there would be no problem.

  25. I'm disappointed the writers jumped on this bandwagon. They just added fuel to the fire. How naive on their part.

  26. To all you holier than thou fanatics preaching about how the world is all racist and not the twins ....think about this ...its about stereotypes you you even know the meaning of the word?? showing people with slanty eyes for example doesnt mean you're trying to show chinese people?? its one thing showing them , its another making fun of them by pointing out that they are uneducated gangstas.....please people get real ...even the writers can see it ....its because of people like you that think its funny that you're so easy to manipulate

  27. I think the most intelligent quote on this entire thread is the one posted on 7/13/2009 at 12:59pm.


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