Over the weekend, a clip went viral featuring actress Megan Fox. It was from 2009, when she was a major movie star; indeed, she was on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to talk about Transformers: Rise of the Fallen. In it, she talks about being sexualized by director Michael Bay on another movie, 2004’s Bad Boys II, back when she was 15. At the time her story was treated as a joke. But in 2020, the response has been, well, quite a bit different.
clip from 2009 where megan fox tells a story about michael bay sexualising her as a 15 y/o
the crowd laughs, and kimmel makes gross jokes
teen girls being preyed on by older men has never been taken seriously and still isn’t pic.twitter.com/t1rF80UTj1
— liz w 🧸 (@reservoird0gs) June 21, 2020
“I was wearing a stars and stripes bikini and a red cowboy hat and six-inch heels, and he approved it,” Megan recalled. “They said, you know, Michael, she’s 15, so you can’t sit her at the bar and she can’t have a drink in her hands. So his solution to that problem was to then have me dancing underneath the waterfall, getting soaking wet.”
At this point the audience didn’t gasp in horror; they laughed and applauded. Fox then clarified what they found amusing. “I’m 15, I was in 10th grade,” she reiterated. “That’s sort of a microcosm of how Bay’s mind works.”
Over the last several years, Kimmel has made considerable strides in reinventing himself from co-host of The Man Show with Adam Carolla to one of late night’s wokest hosts. But in 2009, The Man Show was still a large part of his DNA. He responded by joking, “Yeah, well, that’s really a microcosm of how all our minds work — but some of us have the decency to repress those thoughts and pretend that they don’t exist.”
That was in 2009. Later that year Fox was fired from the Transformers franchise, after speaking out against Bay, calling him a “nightmare to work for” and comparing him to Hitler. Some crew members trash-talked Fox, calling her “trailer trash” and a “porn star. Her career, which seemed to be exploding, has never quite recovered. An epic thread details her abuses at the hands of Bay and others.
Megan Fox has been sexualized from the age of 15 when Michael Bay made her dance in a bikini and wash his car as part of her audition for Transformers. When she spoke out, she was labelled “ungrateful” by the media and her career was destroyed by Bay and Steven Spielberg.
— ephraim winslow (@ephwinslow) June 21, 2020
Fox has been talking about being sexualized and used by Hollywood men for a while; back in 2018, she revealed her sobering reason for not speaking out about her own #MeToo movement. But after this viral clip, it seems people are ready to belatedly admit we collectively failed her by not taking her seriously.
Everybody failed Megan. It makes me so angry because she always has been outspoken about it and something should have been done but now feels like she can’t and it’s all so fucked. https://t.co/3DYIYNs7WO
— Ganja Meda’s Fur (@MsMeBaby_98) June 21, 2020
her reaction is heartbreaking. this is thee megan fox having to pretend like being sexualised at 15 by a grown man was normal because the talk show host and audience find it amusing. on national tv. think about what women go through on a day to day in private https://t.co/prjNRmjHVM
— (@arxhiiie) June 21, 2020
Megan Fox was the victim of an industry that took advantage of and forced an image and a narrative onto her, and when she tried to stand up for herself, they ostracized her. The media was complicit and the general public just stood by and watched.
— ephraim winslow (@ephwinslow) June 21, 2020
Megan Fox deserved better and should had been treated like a human in Hollywood, fuck Michael Bay and stupid ass talk show Jimmy Kimmel too. pic.twitter.com/PSB3Rh1nej
— TheDoctorX11 (@TheDoctorX11) June 22, 2020
remember how Megan Fox was like “Hollywood is full of powerful men who openly sexualize children, on camera, and off. it happened to me…” and everyone laughed at her, then said, “duh! every man sexualizes kids!” and then laughed again? yeah. pic.twitter.com/D4H2ELgdUk
— Lane Moore (@hellolanemoore) June 22, 2020
I feel like I’m looking at all of this information with fresh eyes. We should’ve fought for Megan Fox 😩 She’s a queen who felt like she couldn’t tell her #MeToo story bc she didn’t embody the traditional “victim”. Deadass watching Jennifer’s Body, rn. Collect that royalty💰sis! https://t.co/biahP0psoM
— Yazmeen Hicks (@YazmeenHicks) June 22, 2020
Since Michael Bay is trending for his shitty, sexist behavior, I would just like to remind everyone that Megan Fox is an extremely underrated comic actress and her line delivery in JENNIFER’S BODY is close to god-level.
— Kmart Ronan Farrow (@Nico_Lang) June 21, 2020
Eventually people came for Kimmel, too.
Jimmy Kimmel is a hypocritical hack. And all the same people who hate cancel culture and joke policing are hypocritical hacks when they try to get him fired. Just be consistent in your principles for once ffs.
— Bridget Phetasy (@BridgetPhetasy) June 22, 2020
Some came to his defense, sort of.
The pros of piling on Jimmy Kimmel vastly outweigh the cons.
— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) June 22, 2020