Over the weekend, an old clip of Megan Fox on Jimmy Kimmel Live! went viral, with the Jennifer’s Body actress recalling how director Michael Bay had her wear “a stars and stripes bikini” when she was 15. The interview is from 2009, the same year that Guardian writer Jason Soloman claims Fox told him that Bay invited her to audition for Transformers at his house, where he made “her wash his Ferrari while he filmed her.”
Those actions, along with the infamous “he wants to be like Hitler” comparison, make Bay come across as a “sexist jerk,” as The Cut put it, but Fox insists that the resurfaced clip casts an unfairly “sinister shadow” over her relationship with the director.
“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. 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 event and cast a sinister shadow that doesn’t really, in my opinion, belong,” Fox wrote in a note on Instagram:
“I was around 15 or 16 years old when I was an extra in Bad Boys II… 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. I hope that whatever opinions are formed around these episodes will at least be seeded in the facts of the events”
Fox also said that she’s “endured some genuinely harrowing experiences in a ruthlessly misogynistic industry,” and that while there are “many names that deserve to be going viral in cancel culture right now, they are safely stored in the fragmented recesses of my heart.” As for Bay and Transformer producer Steven Spielberg, however, “I was never assaulted or preyed upon in what I felt was a sexual manner. 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 yourself to support, uplift, and bring comfort to those who have been harmed by a violent and toxic societal paradigm.” You can read the entire note below.