Setting the record straight. Megan Fox’s reaction to Michael Bay and Jimmy Kimmel’s underage sexualization controversy clarifies what really happened to the star. Fans were concerned after a 2009 interview from Jimmy Kimmel Live! resurfaced, showing host Kimmel, 52, joking about director Bay, 55, for casting the now-34-year-old actress in a sexualized scene. She was only 15 at the time.
The viral clip shows Fox describing her experience getting cast as an extra in Bay’s 2003 film, Bad Boys II, to Kimmel. “They were shooting this club scene, and they brought me in, and I was wearing a stars-and-stripes bikini and a red cowboy hat and, like, six-inch heels,” she remembered. According to Fox, Bay approved the outfit but later ran into trouble when he realized he couldn’t “sit her at the bar” with a “drink in her hand” since she was underage.
“His solution to that problem was to then have me dancing underneath a waterfall, getting soaking wet, at 15,” Fox explained. “I was in 10th grade. That’s sort of a microcosm of how Bay’s mind works.”
Kimmel replied, “Well, that’s really a microcosm of how all our minds work. Some of us have the decency to repress those thoughts and pretend that they don’t exist.”
Twitter users immediately began slamming the host for his “joke” about the situation, while others began demanding an apology from Bay. On June 22, Fox went to Instagram to post a statement in response to the sudden outcry.
“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,” the actress began, before detailing her continued experience working with Bay on Transformers:
“I was around 15 or 16 years old when I was an extra in Bad Boys II. 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.”
She later confirmed that she was “never assaulted or prayed upon” by Bay, or producer Steven Spielberg.
Fox closed her statement by thanking fans for their “support,” while acknowledging 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.” She added, “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.”
Hopefully one day, Fox will feel safe enough to let their names be known. In the instance of Kimmel, however, she might not even have to—the late-night show host is already ensconced in a separate controversy of his own, after social media users came across clips of him in blackface. Kimmel has since apologized, but his statement still leaves plenty of room for growth.