Film reviewer and critic Price of Reason claims that the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem film from Seth Rogen not only turns Splinter into a human-hating bigot, but it also makes him gay.
After watching an early screening of the film, Price of Reason shared his review where he notes the film takes significant liberties with not only Splinter, but the Turtles as well.
He began with the Turtles, “In all the adaptations that we’ve seen to date the Turtles usually take their fighting seriously even if they are at times a bit humorous and playful. They usually seem rather confident and competent. While each of them have certain strengths, flaws, and unique skills, they also show real respect towards Splinter, who is their caretaker, but also their mentor.”
“In this movie, they are pretty much the exact opposite if everything I just said,” Price of Reason noted. “They always seem like these insecure, weak losers and never really exude confidence and never convince you that they’ve taken charge of a situation.”
He went on, “The Turtles also don’t seem to do a lot of fighting in this movie and when they do it all looks rather lackluster. And for some reason the Turtles constantly treat Splinter with extreme disrespect like he’s some kind of nuisance.”
“And to make matters worse they always act and talk like a cross between Seth Rogen, five-year-old children, and weirdos on Tik Tok. I suppose that Rogen thought this was a good idea because it would appeal to modern audiences, but by making the Turtles this way he’s really stripped away their identities or agency,” he said.
Given what we already knew about the film and how it was going to characterize the Turtles this does not seem too far out of left field. Japanese e-commerce website Rakuten revealed brief descriptions for each of the Turtles on a number of toys.
For Leonardo, the description read, ““Leo’s the leader! Well, he wants to be. He dreams of leading his brothers to become an unstoppable crime-fighting team. So what if no one takes him seriously?”
It then reveals his weapons are twin katanas and he dreams of being a fearless leader.
Raphael’s biography read, “Raph likes to break things. In fact, his biggest goal is to punch someone so hard they throw up. But beneath his hard head and tough exterior is a sensitive turtle just looking for someone to talk to.”
It then reveals he wields twin sais and he dreams of becoming a mixed martial arts fighter.
“Mikey’s the comedian,” reads Michelangelo’s biography. “Too bad his brothers don’t think he’s that funny. He might not be the best at ninjutsu or waking up on time, or even hygiene, but you can always count on Mikey’s positive attitude.”
His weapon is the nunchaku and he dreams of being a stand-up comedian. That reads pretty accurate albeit Michelangelo would probably eschew dreams as a stand-up comedian to own a pizza shop.
The biography for Donatello reads, “Donnie is devastatingly smart… And not afraid to let you know it. His intellectual self-assuredness may come across as arrogance, but it’s just that his brain is thinking so many steps ahead that he’s paralyzed with indecision.”
He wields the Bo Staff. However, his dreams are “to be a game developer by, K-pop star by night.” There’s no version of Donatello that I’ve ever seen where has ambitions to become a K-pop star. He’s usually pursuing different scientific experiments, and inventing new contraptions, or modifying the Turtle Van.
After discussing how the film maligns the Turtles, Price of Reason shared how the film destroyed Splinter.
“In all the previous adaptations, Splinter carries himself in a very wise and official way. He’s a figure of authority that commands the respect of the Turtles who are also his students. In this movie Splinter is a complete joke. And while I like Jackie Chan, who voices him, I think he wasn’t properly utilized here.”
“In addition to being an anti-human grouch, his version of Splinter always acts like a buffoon, constantly trying to appease the Turtles when they complain to him.
Price of Reason then revealed they made him into a homosexual, “To add insult to injury, at the end of the movie Splinter is seen making out with Scumbug and then professing his love for Scumbug who he seemingly enters into a relationship with.”
“Now that in and of itself is already out of character for Splinter as we’ve known him for years as it just doesn’t seem like something he would do. But then later after researching the character posters for this movie and also consulting with Tom from Midnight’s Edge, I’ve come to the conclusion that they’ve decided to present Splinter in this movie as an LGBT character, a creative decision that I disagree with since he’s never been presented that way in the 40 years that this franchise has existed.”
Price of Reason then revealed, “Now, I’ll admit that it was done in a somewhat ambiguous and quiet way. I also sense that with recent developments with companies like Target and Budweiser this aspect of the movie seems to be toned down. And although initially there were a few places that posted posters for Scumbag presenting him as a male, they’re not as widespread as some of the other posters we see online. But the poster does exist and I believe that it’s genuine. So I guess there’s no other way to interpret it. Make of that what you will.”
The poster is indeed official as can be seen in the tweet below from Paramount UK.
It should not come as a surprise that they were going to focus in on one of the character’s sexual identities given the film had already made it abundantly clear one of its focuses was on identity politics when they race replaced April O’Neil.
To hit it home the film would be embracing this vile ideology, they also gender-swapped Leatherhead and Wingnut.
Not to mention Seth Rogen’s name was attached to the project and he made it abundantly clear he’s an anti-white activist. Back in 2020, he told Entertainment Weekly, “I mean personally, I think I am just actively trying to make less things starring white people.”
He went on to say, “And if I’m succeeding or I’m not, I’m very much looking to have a far more diverse group of writers and directors and actors that we generally work with, because that group is not incredibly diverse, you know?”
Rogen ultimately concluded, “So that’s how I’ve been trying to deal with it, is just to actively take as they would say, anti-racist measures to assure that some work is doing done to acknowledge that Black people are very marginalized in American society.”
What do you make of Seth Rogen and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem team turning Splinter gay?