Michael Bay responds to criticism over Nazi flags on 'Transformers' set
Michael Bay is urging people to wait and see Transformers: The Last Knight before criticizing the film for a scene that features Nazi flags prominently displayed at the birthplace of Winston Churchill.
“I just want to say, people were not fortunate enough to read the script, and they don’t know that Churchill in this movie is a big hero. And Churchill would be smiling about Last Knight,” he told the BBC on Friday. “They haven’t seen the movie, they don’t know the ending, and they don’t know how Churchill is a hero in this movie. So, as the staff said, ‘He’d be smiling right now.'”
On Thursday, The Sun shared pictures of swastika flags hanging from Churchill’s birthplace at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England during filming of the upcoming Transformers film. Many veterans shared their outrage, calling it disrespectful to the memory of the country’s former prime minister.
“When you see the movie, you’ll understand,” added of the criticism. “I for one, probably more than any director in the world, have shot more veterans and more active military men and women in my movies. I would do nothing to disrespect veterans.”
Churchill, who was the United Kingdom’s prime minister during World War II, is buried less than a mile from where filming is taking place. Besides the swastika flags, The Sun reported the set featured actors in Nazi troop costumes and German tanks.
While he has primarily spent the last decade on the Transformers franchise, Bay has a history of directing military themed movies such as Pearl Harbor and 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
Paramount Pictures, who distributes the film, has yet to respond to EW’s request for comment.
Transformers: The Last Knight, which stars Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, and Tyrese Gibson, lands in theaters on June 23, 2017.