Megan Fox says she's endured "genuinely harrowing experiences" as a woman in the entertainment industry, but they do not involve Michael Bay.
In a new statement released by the actress on Monday, June 22, Fox responded to the internet's renewed interest in past comments she made about working with the director. Last weekend, thousands of Twitter users engaged with a resurfaced clip from a 2009 interview Fox gave Jimmy Kimmel, where she recalled having to wear a "stars-and-stripes bikini" and "6-inch heels" for a scene in Bad Boys II, which Bay directed. That same year, The Guardian film critic Jason Solomons said Fox told him that her audition for a role in Transformers included an alleged visit to Bay's home, where he "made [Fox] wash his Ferrari while he filmed her."
Fox's statement began, "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," she continued.
Addressing the Transformers audition, which she noted took place when she was between 19 and 20-years-old, Fox wrote, "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."
However, Fox clarified that the audition did not take place at his home.
"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," she stated.
She continued, "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, 34, then thanked fans for their ongoing support, adding, "But 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. There are many names that deserve to going viral in cancel culture right now, but they are safely stored in the fragmented recesses of my heart."
The A-lister then addressed Steven Spielberg's rumored role in her departure from the Transformers franchise, which he executive produced. In a 2011 interview with Wonderland magazine, Fox compared Bay's directorial style to that of a dictatorship.
"He's like Napoleon and he wants to create this insane, infamous mad man reputation. He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is. So he's a nightmare to work for but when you get him away from set, and he's not in director mode, I kind of really enjoy his personality because he's so awkward, so hopelessly awkward," she shared at the time.
Bay, who spoke to GQ about Rosie Huntingdon-Whitley replacing Fox as the female lead in the blockbuster series, said it was "the Hitler thing" that led to them cutting ties. "Steven [Spielberg] said," Bay recalled at the time, "Fire her right now." (Spielberg has denied such claims.)
Fox's statement concluded in part, "But when it comes to my direct experiences with Michael, and Steven for that matter, 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 yourselves to support, uplift and bring comfort to those who have been harmed by a violent and toxic societal paradigm," she wrote.
Bay and Spielberg have not commented publicly on Fox's decision to speak out.
At the time, Bay offered a flippant apology to Fox, per his Q&A with GQ: "I know that's just Megan. Megan loves to get a response. And she does it in kind of the wrong way. I'm sorry, Megan. I'm sorry I made you work 12 hours. I'm sorry that I'm making you show up on time. Movies are not always warm and fuzzy."