Open Thread: Transformers and Race

by Latoya Peterson

Okay, I lied. This isn’t a real open thread as much as it is an announcement.

We’re going to do something on Transformers. Arturo plans to hit the film this weekend, he’ll have a fresh post up early next week.

So thanks for all the tips – we will talk about it officially after Arturo sees the film.

(As an aside, who knew so many Transformers fans read the blog?)

Here’s a quick summary from Yahoo (“Jive-talking twin Transformers raise race issues”)to get the convo rolling for those of you who have seen it or want to comment:

Harmless comic characters or racist robots? The buzz over the summer blockbuster “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” only grew Wednesday as some said two jive-talking Chevy characters were racial caricatures. Skids and Mudflap, twin robots disguised as compact hatchbacks, constantly brawl and bicker in rap-inspired street slang. They’re forced to acknowledge that they can’t read. One has a gold tooth.

As good guys, they fight alongside the Autobots and are intended to provide comic relief. But their traits raise the specter of stereotypes most notably seen when Jar Jar Binks, the clumsy, broken-English speaking alien from “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace,” was criticized as a caricature.