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.

“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.

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.

Eventually people came for Kimmel, too.

Some came to his defense, sort of.

(Via BuzzFeed)