November 13th, 2017
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: email@example.com
This is a good essay though it looks at the problem of sexism and Megan Fox in narrow American terms. What occurs to me is how unearned the USA dominance of international film is. Does America deserve to be the nation that can export it’s movies? Would the world be better off if other nations held more of the export market? I agree with the criticism in this essay, though they don’t challenge the dominance of English, which is my main concern.
The entire interview is a mess, with the author clearly fanboying Fox throughout. It’s really sort of annoying, but Fox’s comments on being a “product” deserve some thought. In a 2009 interview with Jimmy Kimmel, she talked about when she was 15 years old and Bay had her in a bikini and six-inch heels as an extra on the set for Bad Boys II. Because she was 15 and too young to drink at the bar, the “solution” was “to then have me dancing underneath a waterfall getting soaking wet. And that’s… At 15. I was in 10th grade. So that’s sort of a microcosm of how Bay’s mind works.”
Even Shia LaBeouf told the L.A. Times how uncomfortable Fox was on the set with how she was treated: “This is a girl who was taken from complete obscurity and placed in a sex-driven role in front of the whole world and told she was the sexiest woman in America. And she had a hard time accepting it.” The list of Bay’s grossness with women goes on and on before and after Fox.
Yet, when Fox was dropped from the Transformers franchise, enough people bought into the Bay’s image of her that they couldn’t see past it—especially after Jennifer’s Body.
Jennifer’s Body and Box Office Poison
Jennifer’s Body was Fox’s first movie outside of the Transformers series, and it gave her a shot to be a “serious” actress. It was written by Diablo Cody, who was riding high on Juno’s success two years before. Despite putting Fox forward on the posters and even putting a queer-baity girl-on-girl kiss into every trailer (à la Black Swan), it underperformed at the box office. While the critics put the blame on the unevenness of the narrative and actually praised Fox’s performance, it combined with her being dropped from the Transformers franchise to create the idea that she was “box-office poison.” Nevermind that they were marketing an R-rated movie to teenage boys, who couldn’t go see it without a parent. That, followed by Jonah Hex—probably the only movie that really was a huge misstep—and the bankability that Fox had from Transformers was gone.