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Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting

Transformers News: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting

Thursday, May 25th, 2023 6:17PM CDT

Category: People News
Posted by: william-james88   Views: 41,943

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Have any of you seen the home made statues of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, standing outside of billionaire brain scientist Newton Howard's home in Georgetown? They are based on the Bay film aesthetic and there's been petitions to take them down for a long time, since they attract undo attention in this rich neighborhood and are said to break the neighborhood aesthetic. Neighbors have even said that having these statues up could encourage people to place inappropriate statues, like a Joseph Stalin statue (this is an actual argument).

As of right now, the law has sided with those who want these taken down, but the conversation will continue at the next meeting of the D.C. Public Space Committee where the current petition is to keep them up. And the reason we bring this up now is because none other than Peter Cullen and Dan Gilvezan are on the list of witnesses, and from what Dan states in the article below, they will bear witness in character as G1 Bumblebee and Optimus Prime. Here is the original article from the Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va ... 411dee256e

You can also read it below.

When the D.C. Public Space Committee gathers on Thursday to consider whether to allow two towering statues in the likeness of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee to remain standing outside a Georgetown home, they will hear from local residents, college students and the homeowner.

They will also hear from Optimus Prime and Bumblebee.

That’s right. This won’t be an ordinary hearing, or at least not a boring one.

The Autobots, in their own voices, will defend their place on the block, thanks to an attorney with a sense of humor and two actors who are used to rolling to the rescue.

Peter Cullen, who has served as the voice for Optimus Prime in the Transformers movies and animated series, and Dan Gilvezan, who gave voice to Bumblebee in the animated series, are listed on the petitioner’s witness list for the hearing.

“Bumblebee is going to testify and hopefully turn some heads,” Gilvezan told me on a recent evening.

The meeting will be held virtually, and Gilvezan plans to place a photo of Bumblebee on his screen and offer testimony in the voice that is familiar to fans. When we spoke, he considered what Bumblebee might say and two phrases came to him immediately: “Some of my best friends are human” and “I would hate to think I wasn’t welcome in Georgetown.”

“He’s a very innocent and youngish character,” Gilvezan said, “so I don’t think it would make sense to him as to why he wouldn’t be welcome.”

It may seem silly that the real Transformers are coming to the defense of the statues, but the controversy that has surrounded the figures since billionaire brain scientist Newton Howard placed them outside his home has been filled with silliness. Those statues have made people smile, pose for photos and leave gifts. They have also pitted neighbors against one another.

The 10-foot-plus figures are made from car parts and stand on two platforms that once held planters. Since putting the statues up, Howard has watched children stop to marvel at them and Georgetown University students make a point to walk by them. He has also seen his neighbors push for their removal. Neighbors have argued that the statues don’t fit with the aesthetic of the historic block of multimillion-dollar homes, could pose a safety hazard, have drawn unwanted traffic to the neighborhood, including from a motorcycle gang, and could encourage residents to put up statues of other figures. Joseph Stalin was named as an example.

In April, the Old Georgetown Board, a federal body made up of architects who review projects in the historic district, sided with Howard’s neighbors. They voted unanimously to deny his request to keep the statues standing outside his home.

The D.C. Public Space Committee, which is holding Thursday’s hearing, will take that recommendation into consideration before making a final determination.

Paul Strauss, an attorney who represents Howard, said the statues have now been up for two years, long enough to show that his neighbors’ concerns are unfounded. He said the figures are secured in place with anchors, no Stalin statues have been erected and a photo he saw of those bikers left him questioning what’s considered a motorcycle gang.

“It was some rich guy with a Ducati who probably does tax work,” Strauss said.

Strauss, who also serves as a D.C. shadow senator, said he plans to present a legally cogent defense at the hearing. (“If you’re doing something on or with your own property and it’s not hurting anyone else, you should be allowed to,” he said. “Let’s just err on the side of freedom.”) But he also plans to tap into the levity of the situation. (“Are we going to try to have some fun with this?” he said. “Absolutely.”)

If you ask Strauss whom he represents, he won’t say Howard. He will tell you he represents Optimus Prime and then quip that “Bumblebee, for ethics reasons, has separate counsel.” (Another attorney in his office, Marta Jara, is focusing on Bumblebee for reasons that are more logistical than ethical, but that explanation doesn’t sound as funny).

Strauss will also tell you how registering online to speak at the hearing posed a challenge for Optimus Prime and Bumblebee that humans don’t have to worry about: “My clients find the idea that before they can register they have to prove they’re not a robot a little bit discriminatory. We may have an equal protection challenge there.”

Strauss credits Emily Swallow, who grew up in the D.C. region and plays the armorer on “The Mandalorian,” for connecting him to Cullen and Gilvezan.

Howard, whose work involves using technology to try to cure neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, described the willingness of Cullen and Gilvezan to speak at the hearing as “an amazing rallying of support that I did not expect.”

Howard also plans to speak at the hearing. He shared his statement with me, and it addresses how he has been humbled by the number of people who have expressed affection for the statues, how that display of art contributes to a neighborhood that “has a long history of eccentric artwork” and how, if he is allowed to keep those figures standing, he plans to get them routinely cleaned and inspected “to make sure they are putting their best foot forward at all times.”

When we spoke, Gilvezan wasn’t yet sure what he would say to the committee. But he told me he got behind the effort because children are going through a rough time right now and the statues give them joy.

“The world is awfully bleak in a lot of ways these days, especially for kids,” he said. The statues are something out of the ordinary — which is why people have a problem with them but also why they are needed, he said. “I love the idea that somebody is driving by with their kids and suddenly it’s, ‘Oh, its Bumblebee and Optimus Prime!’ It’s going to make their day, and to think that opportunity wouldn’t be afforded to them makes me sad. And it makes Bumblebee sad, too. I can promise you that.”


Transformers News: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting

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Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162178)
Posted by TulioDude on May 25th, 2023 @ 6:21pm CDT
That's cool! :BOT:
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162187)
Posted by Jelze Bunnycat on May 25th, 2023 @ 9:04pm CDT
Rodimus Prime wrote:As for the Stalin suggestion, as ridiculous as it sounds, in this day and age, especially in a place like DC, it's definitely possible.


But it would be condemned, legal or not. The suggestion itself is still blowing things up to the absurd IMO.

And I'm all for keeping those statues up!
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162188)
Posted by Silver Wind on May 25th, 2023 @ 10:56pm CDT
Should be interesting. :POPCORN:
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162199)
Posted by Brokebot on May 26th, 2023 @ 7:12am CDT
They look more like repainted Junkions to me, but screw the neighbors. I hope he countersues for harassment.
:michaelbay:
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162200)
Posted by DeathReviews on May 26th, 2023 @ 7:31am CDT
I see no harm in these statues. But the question must be asked - what if it was a statue displaying the Ten Commandments?
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162201)
Posted by Cheetron on May 26th, 2023 @ 8:15am CDT
The way they made out the neighborhood to sound was like it was a gated community. No, it's right on the sidewalks. No harm, no foul. A bruised ego is no reason to drag this this far into legal action. While I don't care for the look of them, I applaud what he did. How he did it. And the love the community (minus his neighbors) have for them.
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162202)
Posted by Solrac333 on May 26th, 2023 @ 9:40am CDT
Georgetown, eh? If it has to be moved, move it right next to the "Exorcist" stairs. :-D
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162203)
Posted by Brokebot on May 26th, 2023 @ 10:13am CDT
DeathReviews wrote:I see no harm in these statues. But the question must be asked - what if it was a statue displaying the Ten Commandments?


So what? It's private property.
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162205)
Posted by First-Aid on May 26th, 2023 @ 10:46am CDT
I'm more concerned about dude's pants color. Seriously? Mucus green? :SICK:
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162210)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on May 26th, 2023 @ 11:26am CDT
DeathReviews wrote:I see no harm in these statues. But the question must be asked - what if it was a statue displaying the Ten Commandments?
Same rules.
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162232)
Posted by william-james88 on May 26th, 2023 @ 3:22pm CDT
Must be nice to be a billionaire. They say money can't buy happiness, but with money this dude can just fly 2 voice actors from LA to have them speak as characters from an 80s tv show at a meeting. That might not be the definition of happiness to some, but I'll still take it.
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162234)
Posted by First-Aid on May 26th, 2023 @ 3:27pm CDT
william-james88 wrote:Must be nice to be a billionaire. They say money can't buy happiness, but with money this dude can just fly 2 voice actors from LA to have them speak as characters from an 80s tv show at a meeting. That might not be the definition of happiness to some, but I'll still take it.


Honestly, if dude is a billionaire, he needs to pay someone to dress him better.

Can't...get...over...barf britches....
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162235)
Posted by Brokebot on May 26th, 2023 @ 4:07pm CDT
First-Aid wrote:I'm more concerned about dude's pants color. Seriously? Mucus green? :SICK:


Article says he's a "brain scientist." Chances are, those are scrub pants. Lab/hospital attire.

First-Aid wrote:
william-james88 wrote:Must be nice to be a billionaire. They say money can't buy happiness, but with money this dude can just fly 2 voice actors from LA to have them speak as characters from an 80s tv show at a meeting. That might not be the definition of happiness to some, but I'll still take it.


Honestly, if dude is a billionaire, he needs to pay someone to dress him better.

Can't...get...over...barf britches....



See above.
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162255)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on May 26th, 2023 @ 8:02pm CDT
Brokebot wrote:
First-Aid wrote:I'm more concerned about dude's pants color. Seriously? Mucus green? :SICK:


Article says he's a "brain scientist." Chances are, those are scrub pants. Lab/hospital attire.

First-Aid wrote:
william-james88 wrote:Must be nice to be a billionaire. They say money can't buy happiness, but with money this dude can just fly 2 voice actors from LA to have them speak as characters from an 80s tv show at a meeting. That might not be the definition of happiness to some, but I'll still take it.


Honestly, if dude is a billionaire, he needs to pay someone to dress him better.

Can't...get...over...barf britches....



See above.
Or maybe, Dr. Seuss's pale green pants with nobody inside...

...finally found somebody!

That somebody standing next to Op and Bee hit me with a nostalgia combo I never saw coming. Hope he wins his case.
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162258)
Posted by First-Aid on May 26th, 2023 @ 8:13pm CDT
Brokebot wrote:
First-Aid wrote:I'm more concerned about dude's pants color. Seriously? Mucus green? :SICK:


Article says he's a "brain scientist." Chances are, those are scrub pants. Lab/hospital attire.

First-Aid wrote:
william-james88 wrote:Must be nice to be a billionaire. They say money can't buy happiness, but with money this dude can just fly 2 voice actors from LA to have them speak as characters from an 80s tv show at a meeting. That might not be the definition of happiness to some, but I'll still take it.


Honestly, if dude is a billionaire, he needs to pay someone to dress him better.

Can't...get...over...barf britches....



See above.


I've been in healthcare for 27 years as an EMT, a CMT, an RN, and now as an NP. Those aren't scrubs. I KNOW scrubs. Those are ugly ass pants. As cool as the guy is for having those stautes, he loses points for booger-colored britches.
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162303)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on May 27th, 2023 @ 2:37pm CDT
You're strangely fixated on an old man's goofy pants... :-?

You don't spend much time at yuppie golf courses, do you? :-D
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2162309)
Posted by First-Aid on May 27th, 2023 @ 7:31pm CDT
Rodimus Prime wrote:You're strangely fixated on an old man's goofy pants... :-?

You don't spend much time at yuppie golf courses, do you? :-D


No. Majority of my time is spent chopping wood for the winter, cleaning up tons of pine needles, and doing the yard work my wife wont help me with because shes doing a Sudoku.

Then drinking away my aches and pains.
Re: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be Witnesses at Upcoming D.C. Public Space Committee Meeting (2171447)
Posted by HarryPotter69 on October 8th, 2023 @ 12:38pm CDT
thats a great news bro

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