Let’s ask a question that only I am asking–Are ReBoot‘s Bob and Dot people of color?
Why do I ask? Am I just fishing for a story? I don’t think so. Here’s my evidence, however circumstantial it might be.
1. Bob and Dot both have Black hairstyles
Bob has dreadlocks, which is a pretty obvious clue in my eyes. But what about Dot? How is her haircut a Black hairstyle? Well, what about Halle Berry’s iconic cut?
When I was writing about something else that involved me looking up ReBoot, I realized how close Dot’s hair is to Berry. And Berry’s haircut was an iconic, defining attribute of her career in the 1990s.
2. They are green and blue
We know that in entertainment, a green or blue character is code for “the other.” And when someone is “the other” they usually aren’t white. If you take a look at most of my Color-Coded posts, you’ll see that the majority of characters fans view as a person of color are some shade of blue or green. So what does that say about Bob and Dot?
I figure they’re probably blue and green because they’re sprites in a computer and they aren’t human. But that leads me back to the original question: If they are blue and green, what is it code for? Because Dot and Bob could have been colored silver or snow white or pink, or anything else.
3. Bob’s voice actor is a person of color
Dot’s voice actor, Kathleen Barr, is one of the most illustrious voice actors in the game, but if you wanted to, you could use Barr as a reason why Dot isn’t a person of color. “Barr is white, so what does that mean for Dot?” Sure, okay (as if POC characters aren’t voiced by white actors, Barr included). However, the same can’t be said for Bob, whose voice actor is Michael Benyaer.
I interviewed Benyaer many years ago about his work as Hadji in the first season of The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest. He said that he added many of his own experiences into Bob, such as his love for Spider-Man, a character he loved for his fallibility and his ability to roll with the punches in a very human way. He also talked about his experiences as Hadji and how it mirrored the discrimination he faced in Hollywood. He talked about how he had to call out errors in accents, saying, There were actors who were using this accent like Apu [from The Simpsons], and I was like, ‘No, that’s offensive!…To them, [Indian and Middle Eastern accents are] all the same, and I’m like, ‘No, that’s a Pakistani accent,’ [or] ‘No, that’s an Israeli accent.’”
So as one of Benyaer’s characters, Bob has a foot in the POC space.
What do you think about Bob and Dot? And who else would you want me to put in the Color-Coded series? Leave a comment or send me a DM and/or leave a comment on Instagram!