A 2009 interview where the actress talked about her experience as a Bad Boys II extra sparked discussion about misogyny in Hollywood.

By Nick Romano
June 23, 2020 at 10:41 AM EDT
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Both Megan Fox and Michael Bay have released statements on social media after resurfaced clips went viral online this weekend.

One such clip featured Fox's 2009 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in which the now 34-year-old star describes her background role in Bay's 2003 film Bad Boys II at the age of 15. She says the director had her "dancing underneath a waterfall, getting soaking wet" while wearing a "stars-and-stripes bikini," "a red cowboy hat," and "6-inch heels." More stories from Fox's time working with Bay, 55, began recirculating as fans across social media called for an apology from the filmmaker.

In her statement, released on Instagram, Fox says that while she has "endured some genuinely harrowing experiences in a ruthlessly misogynistic industry," she was "never assaulted or preyed upon in what I felt was a sexual manner" by the filmmaker.

Han Myung-Gu/WireImage

"I know that a discussion has erupted online surrounding some of my experiences in Hollywood and the subsequent mishandling of this information by the media and society in general," she writes. "While I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support, I do feel I need to clarify some of the details as they have been lost in the retelling of the events and cast a sinister shadow that doesn't really, in my opinion, belong. At least not where it's currently being projected..."

Fox mentions both the Bad Boys II story and one The Guardian reported in 2009 about how Bay apparently invited the actress to his house for her Transformers audition and "made her wash his Ferrari while he filmed her."

"I was around 15 or 16 years old when I was an extra in Bad Boys II," she explains. "There are multiple interviews where I shared the anecdote of being chosen for the scene and the conversations that took place surrounding it. It's important to note however that when I auditioned for Transformers I was 19 or 20. I did 'work' (me pretending to know how to hold a wrench) on one of Michael's Ferrari's during one of the audition scenes. It was at the Platinum Dunes studio parking lot, there were several other crew members and employees present and I was at no point undressed or anything similar. So, as far as this particular audition story I was not underaged at the time and I was not made to 'wash' or work on someone's cars in a way that was extraneous from the material in the actual script."

While thankful for the support, Fox notes that "these specific instances were inconsequential in a long and arduous journey along which I have endured some genuinely harrowing experiences in a ruthlessly misogynistic industry. There are many names that deserve to be going viral in cancel culture right now, but they are safely stored in the fragmented recesses of my heart."

Bay responded to Fox's statement and shared a still from her Transformers audition tape. "No. She is not washing a car nor in a bikini like the press have falsely said for many years," he writes. "And I personally think Megan is fantastic. I’m proud to have worked with her, and still am planning on working with her."

Fox and Bay have said a lot about each other in year's past. In a 2011 interview with Wonderland magazine, Fox compared the director to "Napoleon" who "wants to create this insane, infamous mad-man reputation." She continued at the time, "He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is. So he’s a nightmare to work for but when you get him away from set, and he’s not in director mode, I kind of really enjoy his personality because he’s so awkward, so hopelessly awkward. He has no social skills at all. And it’s endearing to watch him. He’s vulnerable and fragile in real life and then on set he’s a tyrant."

That same year, Bay commented on replacing Fox with Rosie Huntington-Whitely for Transformers: Dark of the Moon. "She was in a different world, on her BlackBerry. You gotta stay focused," he told GQ. "And you know, the Hitler thing. Steven [Spielberg] said, 'Fire her right now.'" Spielberg, who executive produced Transformers, would later tell EW, "That's not true. That didn't happen."

Fox's statement this week also mentions Spielberg: "When it comes to my direct experiences with Michael, and Steven for that matter, I was never assaulted or preyed upon in what I felt was a sexual manner."

In a 2018 appearance on What What Happens Live, Fox explained how she and Bay "made up" and are "BFFs." "I was young when a lot of that was happening, and I was really self-righteous in my anger," she said. "I thought I was right to speak the way that I spoke. As I got a little older, I understood, regardless of whatever my issues were, they should always have remained private. You should never blast someone like that in public. And so I reached out and just said I hope this movie does amazing and it will."

Concluding her statement on the matter, she writes, "I'm thankful to all of you who are brave enough to speak out and I'm grateful to all of you who are taking it upon yourselves to support, uplift, and bring comfort to those who have been harmed by a violent and toxic societal paradigm."

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