The Sexist

Sexist Beatdown: Megan Fox Shrinks Michael Bay’s Camera Boner Edition

meganfox

Hey! Looks like Megan Fox is due for her six-month Sexist Beatdown check-up. According to Transformers director and noted Hot Girl inspector Michael Bay, Fox has apparently grown "pale," "underweight" and "unhealthy," allowing her Hot Girl essence to whither away into a sickly frame that's utterly beneath the lingering gaze of Bay's signature camera-boner.

Meanwhile, Fox is also apparently still suffering from mouthiness on the issue of Michael Bay being a gigantic asshole who verbally abuses his employees for failing to meet his unattainable camera-boner standards!

In this edition of Sexist Beatdown, Join Sady Doyle of Tiger Beatdown and I as we dissect the latest installment in Bay v. Fox: Which will make an incomprehensible robot alien blockbuster for the third time, and which will emerge as a budding feminist hero? Let's find out!

But first, a recap:

TEAM BAY: "'It’s never a good idea to speak negatively about a director you work with—it’s a small community,' said Hollywood producer Nathan Folks. 'Actors sometimes think they can get away with anything, the egos some possess are out of control. When they stop getting work, they will learn.'”

TEAM FOX: “'If Megan was indeed verbally abused, and pulls back the curtain on what is really going on in Hollywood,  and tells her story to the right person like Oprah, she could reach icon status,' said Associated Press  pop culture reporter Natalie Rotman. 'There has been a long history of tyrant male directors in Hollywood. If Bay really did verbally abuse Fox and she is the first to speak up to a bully director, it could make her a pioneer.'”

TEAM BAY: "Megan Fox is an ungrateful bitch."

TEAM FOX: "Imagine a really, really bitchy grandmother on the set, and that's what Michael Bay is like."

SADY: Why, hello! I come to you today in a great spirit of mourning. For an icon has fallen.

AMANDA: In the great battle of Bay v. Fox v. Robo Alien Monster Truck?

SADY: YES. The battle that shall define our times! Sort of! Basically, I'm kind of sad and kind of happy that I called this. Back when Megan Fox was mouthing off about Bay, everyone was like, "she's only doing this because it helps her career." And it's just, like... How often does a woman speaking her not-entirely-complimentary mind about a much more powerful man HELP her career? We wanted to punish her then, and I'm getting a vibe of distinct celebration because we can SEE her getting punished now. By, um, being dropped from "Transformers." Surely the worst of all fates!

AMANDA: Haha, right? Allow me to reproduce this quote from the FOXNews take on the kerfuffle: “If Megan was indeed verbally abused, and pulls back the curtain on what is really going on in Hollywood, and tells her story to the right person like Oprah, she could reach icon status,” said Associated Press pop culture reporter Natalie Rotman. "There has been a long history of tyrant male directors in Hollywood. If Bay really did verbally abuse Fox and she is the first to speak up to a bully director, it could make her a pioneer.” So, the choices for women in Hollywood are: Star in the third installment in a really really really really awful alien robot blockbuster series, or become an icon ... by rejecting the idea that you, MEGAN FOX, are a sickly pale excuse for a Hot Girl.

SADY: Ha, yeah. Fair enough!

AMANDA: I love that Megan Fox is speaking out against Michael Bay, who legitimately sounds like an abusive douchebag. But I am also amused that Megan Fox could be a pioneer in the important feminist cause of "Actually, I Am Hot." But I pretty much love everything about Megan Fox, largely because I know a lot of people hate everything about Megan Fox? To the point that there is actual cultural commentary from news sources speculating that Megan Fox not being in the third Transformers movie could hurt her career. How does that work?

SADY: Right. I mean, I do wonder, because she has been affiliated with that franchise ABOVE ALL OTHERS! Mostly because she has not ever stopped talking about how hideous working with Michael Bay is. Most of her other stuff has died an inglorious, potentially Diablo-Cody-related death.

AMANDA: Even though she got her start dancing under a waterfall in an American flag bikini for him. How could this relationship ever sour?

SADY: Right? I really did think that those two kids could work it out! But I think it's interesting that she has this new second life as a Feminist Pioneer thanks to the fact that we can see her statements actually have negative consequences for her. Because before, when she was saying all this, the official party line was, "Megan Fox seems like such an asshole!" It's like, the second we could identify her as a victim, we started listening to stuff she'd been saying for years. Because now she could be officially embraced as an underdog.

AMANDA: Right. I remember when she was complaining about Michael Bay making her go look at all the Egyptian pyramids. And everyone was like "What a bitch!" But deep down I know that a trip to the pyramids with Michael Bay was probably teeming with his authoritative douchery. You just know it was!

SADY: And then there was that "mystery" blog post or whatever about what a bitch Megan Fox was for not enjoying the pyramid trip, which plenty of people speculated was written by Bay himself. I mean, I doubt that Megan Fox has suffered more than anyone else on the planet. I just genuinely think she's a girl who can't stop herself from complaining when she suffers. Which, you know, as a whiner and occasional asshole myself, I found myself deeply in sympathy with that response. And I think that what she's talking about probably isn't unusual, for Hot Girls; she's just whiny enough to talk about it.

AMANDA: Yes... And all the complaining about Fox "mouthing off" about directors was always actually about how moviegoers think Megan Fox is hot and talentless, and therefore she is only allowed to provide masturbation material, and no personal commentary on what it's like to be professional masturbation material. And now Michael Bay comes out and says, "You are only useful as masturbation material, and also, you are a few shades too pale and a couple sizes too small to be good enough masturbation material for me, at the current juncture."

SADY: Right. "There are other women to whom I and the American public would prefer to masturbate! More unfamiliar, and potentially younger, and more inexperienced women! BRING FORTH THE AUDITION BIKINI! We will meet at the Audition Waterfall to discover America's next great boner!"

AMANDA: Yeah, and it really makes you wonder what these people expect of Fox as an acting talent. Her role in Transformers, most specifically was her gyrating on alien robot cars for a couple of hours and gratuitously bending over in front of Shia LaBeouf some. And people are like, "Sheeee's teeeerrrrrrriiiibbbbllleee!"

SADY: RIGHT? Like, when was she asked to be anything other than terrible? Was there like a point in “Transformers 3” where she would be required to recite a soliloquy from "Hamlet?" Is that why they cut her?

AMANDA: I really think that criticizing her acting skills is a way to weasel out of the truth of the situation, which is that people demand female characters that actually aren't characters, but rather bodies. And when an actress like Fox embodies this expectation perfectly, they blame it on her lack of skill, not on their fucked up desires.

SADY: Yeah. I mean, I have seen her act, and she IS really, really bad at it. But it's not like she was playing Margaret Thatcher, you know? And, like: Fox seemed pretty aware of that throughout. She was never (or rarely) like, "I would like to become a Serious Actress, and take on Oscar-worthy roles of massive cultural importance in tomorrow's film classics!" She was just like, "yep. I'm a Hot Girl. Being Hot isn't always necessarily something that I'm into! But it's my job! And I hate it sometimes, just as you hate the data processing that you do." She seemed so self-aware of the whole thing, being an object with a date of expiration. And now her genius is that she's been loud enough for the date of her expiration to be announced all over as if it weren't happening every day to every other Hot Girl in the business.

AMANDA: Yeah, and I wonder what people are actually looking for actresses to do with the Hot Girl role. Do they want them to act their way out of the Hot Girl paper bag and turn a deliberately 2-dimensional character into an actually compelling performance that makes the Hot Girl actually seem like a real person, even if she's not supposed to be one? That sounds unreasonable. I think I've figured it out, actually. I think they want a Hot Girl who could also go put on a fake nose and play fucking Thatcher or whatever and win that Oscar, but also sometimes want to play dumb and sexy for the movies, because they like it. The Hot Girl transition does not appear to be in the cards for Megan Fox anytime soon though. I have perused her future projects on IMDB, and they are predictably hilarious. But also probably not as bad as Transformers 3.

SADY: PROBABLY. She has apparently done a voice-over for "Pokemon!" So when the live-action motion picture experience comes to a theater near you, I guess we know who that one Hot Lady Villain with the blue-haired sidekick will be.

AMANDA: Like, in one movie the plot is described as this: "An angel under the thumb of a ruthless gangster is saved by a trumpet player down on his luck."

SADY: "The U.S. military makes a scarred bounty hunter with warrants on his own head an offer he cannot refuse: in exchange for his freedom, he must stop a terrorist who is ready to unleash Hell on Earth." Is Megan Fox the scarred bounty hunter? Or Hell?

AMANDA: I WISH. In that one, she plays an olde-tyme strumpet love interest of an old western bounty hunter seeking revenge on John Malkovich for burning his face off (OR SOMETHING). I really hope they have scenes together. Fox and Malkovich.

SADY: Oh, God. The strange facial decisions! I cannot even imagine! She does shoot a gun, sexily, in the previews, if I recall correctly. But there are no olden-tymey motorcycles for her to hump/fix whilst the camera lingers lovingly on her ass, one would imagine.

AMANDA: Haha. I'm sure the camera will find something to dwell on, with that whole olde-tyme strumpet business and all.

SADY: I mean, that's the thing. People have been calling Megan Fox "ungrateful" since forever. And I can't figure out what she's supposed to be grateful for. Being in the worst-reviewed film franchise of recent years? Having her ass used as a plot point and/or focus of interest for sweaty dudes who have, FOR WHATEVER BIZARRE REASON, a really strong interest in "Transformers?" Knowing the role she plays in the fantasies of said sweaty dudes, and/or professional film critics, who write her ass up as one of the view interesting points in said film franchise? Money? Sure, money. I'd be fine with money. But I get creeped out when a dude looks down my shirt on the street. Megan Fox has been, since high school, a professional Shirt down which to Look. People are just so bitter that she's not into it! She's not even NOT into it; she does it all the time. But she's not like, "ohhhh, I just sit at home in my lacy underthings thinking about all you sweaty dudes and the hot things I'm going to do with your action figures when we meet."

AMANDA: Amazing. I recently read another account of her "complaining": In said "angel under the thumb of a ruthless gangster is saved by a trumpet player down on his luck" movie someone on set took a camera photo of her while she was standing naked in some sort of glass circus cage? For some plotline? And they sent the photo around the Internets, and she was rightfully pissed about it She was basically like, "You're taking a picture of me naked while I'm working. I'm trying to work over here and you're being an asshole." And that's the thing—people want to pretend that this sort of thing isn't "work." That it's the easiest thing in the world to be what Megan Fox is, and that she is just a lazy ungrateful bitch because she makes it clear that it is work and not her personal sexy fun time.

SADY: Right. Because this "plotline" (!) that "required" her to be naked also probably "required" her to be, like, at the very least conscious of how she was standing and moving and etc. etc. etc. And it was a controlled environment, and this and that and the other. And then some dude is like, "oh, great, you're naked! Clearly this is consent for me to send my iPhone picture of the event to the entire Internet!" Like, what was she supposed to do? Wait, don't tell me: Be quiet and autograph something for him.

AMANDA: Like his penis.

SADY: "Megan, I have a pitch for you! It's about a down-on-his-luck iPhone camera user and a starlet imprisoned in a glass cage who can only escape through utilizing her secret superpower. Her secret superpower is giving blowjobs. Also. Anyway, we're auditioning for the part later, if you're interested! If you are not interested, I will tell the Internet what a bitch you are, also. That is another part of my movie. For which I am casting. Right now."

AMANDA: "Also in this movie the cure for ungrateful bitchiness is handjobs."

SADY: Wow. I really think this could be Megan's comeback!

Comments

  1. #1

    Some talentless people might get a bit jealous when they see another talentless person making millions. They probably think that if they were in her shoes they'd shut up. With the exception of the photo thing, I think I'd be quite and be happy to be rich and famous.

  2. #2

    Confused that an otherwise intelligent blog falls prey to Hollywood gossip culture. Reducing Megan Fox (or Michael Bay for that matter) to this caricature is its own type of objectification.

  3. #3

    One of the articles I read about this explicitly stated that Bay was auditioning "models" for the replacement character). Not actors.

    And if that's how Bay treats his female leads, I'm not totally surprised he'd describe Fox as ungrateful, even after "leaking" nude shots. He probably thinks he was doing her a favour.

  4. #4

    Part of me is tempted to see Fox as a mega-victim of the patriarchy (after all, someone who was that hot to begin with and still felt pressured into all that plastic surgery at the age of...what...21?), but everything she's said that I read about just makes me like her more. She seems so smart and together, and also a little feminist. I say more power to her for speaking up about Bay, and furthermore...what a douche he sounds like! "Too thin"? Please. That's the flimsiest excuse I've ever heard. And the "pale and sickly" thing, especially when combined with the fact that Fox has come out and said that Bay required her to tan so much for the first two movies that she's worried about skin cancer, sounds a lot like "I want this role to be the perfect fantasy woman, and you, even with all that surgery, still look a little TOO MUCH like an actual, naturally-occurring human being. 'Cause even with the boobs and the thinness and the lips and the and the eyes and the fact that you're MEGAN FOX for cryin' out loud, you're still not good enough."

  5. #5

    @ sharpie

    Confused that an otherwise intelligent blog falls prey to Hollywood gossip culture. Reducing Megan Fox (or Michael Bay for that matter) to this caricature is its own type of objectification.

    Huh? In what way was Fox reduced to a caricature?

  6. #6

    Don't see why Megan Fox should be let into the feminist club just because suddenly her full-throated participation for the patriarchy-enabling mega blockbuster Hollywood mogul turns sour.

    Seems somewhat unfair, does it not? She spends years extracting money from patriarchy and seeing no problem being a sex symbol and exploiting that and male moviegoers and then suddenly she's a "feminist hero" because she rates slightly less than Michael Bay on the asshole scale and is having a petty Hollywood fight?

  7. #7

    Um, Jeff?

    We all make money from the Patriarchy, you included.

    I can't fucking stand when men pile up on pretty women who make money being pretty. It drives me up the wall. If you were a woman, and stood to make something like $.30 on the mandollar for every hour of work you did during your lifetime, you'd probably take the shortcut to a bigger payoff if you could. This usually involves being attractive and desirable to men with money- I know, I know, pretty women who are overtly sexual just couldn't have brains and think feminist thoughts. *snark*

    Her Masters are yours, too. She's just probably more willing to admit it.

  8. #8

    Aw, Jeff, wouldn't they let you in the club?

    I hate the way those Hot Girls extract money from the patriarchy and exploit male moviegoers! Hot Girls actually rule the world, did you know that?

  9. #9

    @ Jeff

    Feminism is for everybody; even hot chicks who figured out how to extract some benefit from the system that ultimately treats them as something less than fully human.

  10. #10

    Still not seeing how she's a feminist hero.

    Aren't there feminists who have actually "done stuff" recently that might deserve such honors?

    Might as well make Paris Hilton one too.

    And which "club" did you mean, Emily? The Patriarchy or Feminism? Because I wish there was an all-inclusive male conspiracy, because then I could get a job in this economy.

    And if you meant the feminist club, I've handed out condoms every year at college during their campus Safe Sex Awareness weeks as a volunteer, promoting safe sex and birth control. While I was doing that, Megan Fox was under the knife, tarting herself up to befit her patriarchal masters so she could make millions.

    Why should she be held in such high regard just because of a petty Hollywood fight that MIGHT turn into some sort of ethereal point about sexism among popcorn blockbuster directors, while I was helping apply the lessons I've learned for pragmatic, everyday purposes?

    There are a lot of great feminists out there. Megan Fox isn't going to be one of them.

  11. #11

    @Jeff. I would argue the wider feminist view is that ALL women are trapped by the patriarchy, and while SOME may (appear to) benefit from exploiting their own stereotypes simply because there is little to no alternative, this is always a hollow victory at best. There is no benefit a woman, hot or otherwise, can gain from the patriarchy which is equal to the privilege a man may gain without selling his deepest personal autonomy via sexual services. Because of this, the more women like Megan Fox realize what is being done to them, and speak out against it, the better chance we have of altering patriarchal oppression against us.

  12. #12

    I would like to clarify something about Megan Fox's career perspectives. The examination of her IMDb page must have been very cursory, because I don't know in what world starring in an indie drama opposite Mickey Rourke and Bill Murray is considered a laughable project (that's the one which produced those leaked naked photos from the set). She is playing a circus freak, a girl with wings who has been jailed and on display at carnivals her whole life. Rourke, who plays a trumpet player who falls in love with her, has gone out of his way to praise her. In an interview for Entertainment Weekly he actually called her the best young actress he has ever worked with and predicted this role is going to completely change people's perception of her. This statement may seem over the top but Rourke isn't known to blow smoke up anybody's ass. I thought Fox showed plenty of flair in Jennifer's Body so I wouldn't write her off at all. In any case, I think we all agree we should root for her to succeed and subvert the role she has been positioned to fill.

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