LOS ANGELES – 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.
One fan called the Transformers twins “Jar Jar Bots” in a blog post online.
Todd Herrold, who watched the movie in New York City, called the characters “outrageous.”
“It’s one thing when robot cars are racial stereotypes,” he said, “but the movie also had a bucktoothed black guy who is briefly in one scene who’s also a stereotype.”
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