Megan Fox’s career undoubtedly suffered after she was depicted as difficult and rude by a film crew. Why is it always women treated in such a way? Read more on Grazia.
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In 2018, Natalie Portman gave a speech on how to be an ally to women. One key points in her manifesto? ‘If a man says to you that a woman is crazy or difficult, ask him, “What bad thing did you do to her?”‘ It’s a valuable point that we should carry with us in everyday life, in work meetings, on dates, when talking with new acquaintances. And it’s also useful when reappraising how we have treated women in the past. So-called difficult women who we consider to be divas, or nightmares to work with, because men in power told us so. We owe a lot of apologies to these women. Perhaps we should start with Megan Fox.
In 2009, the actress discussed Michael Bay – her director in the first two Transformers films – in an article for Wonderland. She said that he was a ‘nightmare to work for’ on set, but ‘vulnerable and fragile’ in real life. Soon after, Bay’s personal website hosted an open letter from the film’s crew, calling her an ‘unfriendly bitch’, ‘dumb as a rock’ and stating that she could find success in the porn industry.
‘We’ve had the unbearable time of watching her try to act on set, and yes, it’s very cringe-able’, the letter read. ‘So maybe, being a porn star in the future might be a good career option. But make-up beware, she has a paragraph tattooed to her backside (probably due her rotten childhood)—easily another 45 minutes in the chair!’
Megan was not present in the third film, and her career has undoubtedly suffered from being depicted as difficult. Would you hire a woman described so cruelly by her peers? It’s basically the reference from hell.
Should Megan have called her boss a tyrant? Probably not. But she was young, and she had been subjected to years of mistreatment. In the last few days, an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live has resurfaced that makes uncomfortable viewing, during which Megan recalls working as an extra on a Bay film.
‘The first time I ever worked with [Bay], actually, I had just turned 15 and I was an extra in Bad Boys II’, she explains. ‘ 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. He approved it, and 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 hand, so his solution to that problem was to then have me dancing underneath a waterfall getting soaking wet. At 15, I was in 10th grade. So that’s sort of a microcosm of how Bay’s mind works.’ The audience’s laughter, and host Jimmy’s strange suggestion that all men’s minds work like that, makes the skin crawl. To use the words from the letter written against Megan, it’s ‘cringe-able.’
Megan is one of the many, many women in Hollywood who have dared to speak out against the men who have mistreated them, or simply disagreed with, and have suffered for it. Whether it’s the Ashley Judds or Mira Sirvinos of the world – who Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson claims he was dissuaded from hiring due to rumours of bad behaviour – or the Katherine Heigls, who dared to critique elements of her role in Knocked Up and was, therefore, presented in the media as ungrateful. Maybe some of these women behave badly on occasion. But unlike their male counterparts, who get chance after chance, they are slated, sacked and blacklisted.
Megan Fox is owed an apology, by those who ignored her voice in favour of the men who spoke for her. Next time a man tells you that a woman is a nightmare to work with, think of Meghan, think of Natalie, and ask what he did to her.