Among the criticisms leveled at Michael Bay's rock 'em, sock 'em Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen are charges that two of Bay's secondary robot characters, Mudflap and Skids, promote offensive racial stereotypes. The director doesn't disagree -- he just doesn't see anything wrong with it.

Lest you think that these critics are being hopelessly, knee-jerkingly PC, consider the following: The comic-relief robots have enormous jug ears and bug eyes. One of them has a gold tooth. They speak in a high-pitched, rapid-fire drawl that calls to mind Chris Tucker and the Wayans brothers (as reported here by Erik Davis, the voices were done by black actor Reno Wilson, and comedian and voice talent Tom Kenny, who also voices Spongebob Squarepants). Their "street" dialogue runs along the line of one of them suggesting "popping a cap" in another robot.

"We're just putting more personality in," Bay told the Associated Press. "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."

Mudflap and Skids are hardly the only thing that critics are finding wrong with Bay's sequel, but in a film that's chock-a-block full of things to hate, it still stands out as one of the most egregious botches. In her review in the New York Times, critic Manohla Dargis wrote that the characters speak with "conspicuously cartoonish, so-called black voices that indicate that minstrelsy remains as much in fashion in Hollywood as when, well, Jar Jar Binks was set loose by George Lucas."

"I purely did it for kids," the director said. "Young kids love these robots, because it makes it more accessible to them."



Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' Premiere Photos

    Actress Megan Fox is interviewed during the "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" world premiere in Tokyo in this June 8, 2009 file photo. While many of the 23-year-old's peers might want to avoid the label "sex symbol" for fear it would obscure their acting talent, Fox, whose new "Transformers" sequel debuts in theaters on June 24, 2009, is just the opposite. Picture taken June 8, 2009. REUTERS/Michael Caronna/Files (JAPAN ENTERTAINMENT)

    Reuters

    TV personality Kim Kardashian arrives at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival's premiere of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" at the Mann Village Theatre on June 22, 2009 in Westwood, California. 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" Premiere - Arrivals Mann Village Theatre Westwood, CA United States June 22, 2009 Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage.com To license this image (16849092), contact WireImage.com

    Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

    TV personality Kim Kardashian arrives at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival's premiere of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" at the Mann Village Theatre on June 22, 2009 in Westwood, California. 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" Premiere - Arrivals Mann Village Theatre Westwood, CA United States June 22, 2009 Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage.com To license this image (16849086), contact WireImage.com

    Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

    TV personality Kim Kardashian arrives at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival's premiere of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" at the Mann Village Theatre on June 22, 2009 in Westwood, California. 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" Premiere - Arrivals Mann Village Theatre Westwood, CA United States June 22, 2009 Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage.com To license this image (16849083), contact WireImage.com

    Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

    Singer Ciara arrives at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival's premiere of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" at the Mann Village Theatre on June 22, 2009 in Westwood, California. 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" Premiere - Arrivals Mann Village Theatre Westwood, CA United States June 22, 2009 Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage.com To license this image (16849152), contact WireImage.com

    Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

    Singer Ciara arrives at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival's premiere of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" at the Mann Village Theatre on June 22, 2009 in Westwood, California. 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" Premiere - Arrivals Mann Village Theatre Westwood, CA United States June 22, 2009 Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage.com To license this image (16849148), contact WireImage.com

    Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

    Singer Ciara arrives at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival's premiere of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" at the Mann Village Theatre on June 22, 2009 in Westwood, California. 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" Premiere - Arrivals Mann Village Theatre Westwood, CA United States June 22, 2009 Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage.com To license this image (16849144), contact WireImage.com

    Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

    Singer Ciara arrives at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival's premiere of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" at the Mann Village Theatre on June 22, 2009 in Westwood, California. 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" Premiere - Arrivals Mann Village Theatre Westwood, CA United States June 22, 2009 Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage.com To license this image (16849142), contact WireImage.com

    Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

    Singer Ciara arrives at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival's premiere of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" at the Mann Village Theatre on June 22, 2009 in Westwood, California. 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" Premiere - Arrivals Mann Village Theatre Westwood, CA United States June 22, 2009 Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage.com To license this image (16849141), contact WireImage.com

    Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

    Musician Mark Hoppus arrives at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival's premiere of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" at the Mann Village Theatre on June 22, 2009 in Westwood, California. 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" Premiere - Arrivals Mann Village Theatre Westwood, CA United States June 22, 2009 Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage.com To license this image (16849123), contact WireImage.com

    Steve Granitz/WireImage.com



Over on the fansite CHUD, which is hardly a bastion of political correctness, writer Devin Faraci calls them "Little Black Sambots," and says that he was dumbfounded by the characters: "They have a 'playful' back and forth relationship, which includes them talking in some sort of modern day rap-age jive, calling each other 'bitch-ass' or 'punk,' talking with an exaggerated, crunked-up 'street' accent. They appear to be stoned all the time. And they ... sheepishly admit they 'don't do much readin'.' I was actually surprised that the film didn't find a way to make them wear a Transformers version of baggy pants."

Apparently,none of this bothers Bay. "Listen, you're going to have your naysayers on anything," he told AP. "It's like is everything going to be melba toast? It takes all forms and shapes and sizes."