Michael Bay storms off stage when teleprompter fails: nervous or arrogant?

When we’ve covered director Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon, Pain & Gain), it’s been to chronicle his epic douchebaggery. The most egregious example was when we heard that Bay “auditioned” Megan Fox for Transformers by having her wash his Ferrari, at his house, while he filmed her. Fox and Bay later had an ongoing media feud, with Fox comparing Bay to Napoleon and Hitler, and Bay bad-mouthing Fox’s work ethic and replacing her in subsequent Transformers sequels. So Michael Bay’s name is synonymous with douche, and it’s hard not to view his behavior under that same douche-lens.

On to our current story, which has Michael Bay getting visibly nervous and refusing to engage in on-stage banter when his teleprompter failed at the big Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. (That video is above.) Bay was unable to ad-lib the conversation, got frustrated and stormed off the stage. Bay was promoting a new Samsung television, so he was surely paid handsomely for the appearance. Here’s more:

Bay has described getting stage fright at the Consumer Electronics Show, walking away after a teleprompter failed.

In a blog post on his website, the director — whose films include the “Transformers” series — wrote: “Wow! I just embarrassed myself at CES…”

Bay had been lending his name to Samsung’s new 105-inch curved UHD television, unveiled at the five-day CES tech conference in Las Vegas.

“My job, as a director, is I get to dream for a living,” he began, describing Hollywood as a place that “creates a viewer escape.”

Bay continued: “And what I try to do is I … uhhh, the type is all off — sorry, but I’ll just wing this.” With prompting from Samsung Executive Vice President Joe Stinziano, he went on: “We’ll wing it right now. I try to take people on an emotional ride and …”

When Stinziano asked how the product would impact Bay’s work, the director exited the stage, apologizing.
In his blog, Bay said he had been too eager to speak.

“I just got so excited to talk, that I skipped over the Exec VP’s intro line and then the teleprompter got lost.
“Then the prompter went up and down — then I walked off. I guess live shows aren’t my thing.”

[From CNN]

So Bay wrote a blog about how he embarrassed himself, but he never apologized to the audience, or to Samsung. I don’t get how a Hollywood director is unable to talk off the cuff about the career he’s had for decades, which he knows inside and out. I also think that if Bay would have bothered to prepare at all he would have known what to say without using the teleprompter. If this were someone else I might have more sympathy for them, though. It’s hard to speak in front of a large audience and the experience can be terrifying.

Some people on YouTube are suggesting that Bay’s walk off was staged by Samsung to get more publicity, but I doubt it. The guy looked and acted genuinely flustered. So was he being arrogant or was he just nervous when he left instead of soldiering through and trying to engage the audience? I think the answer is a bit of both. It’s telling that Bay’s first response was to flee and avoid discomfort instead of finishing the job he earned at least seven figures for. It’s also telling that his response afterwards was to kind of throw up his hands and say “oh well, not my thing.” The guy wasn’t “excited” as he claimed, he was mortified.




Photo credit: WENN.com

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26 Responses to “Michael Bay storms off stage when teleprompter fails: nervous or arrogant?”

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  1. GeeMoney says:

    Ugh. King of the douchebags. But I must admit, I like some of his films. The first Bad Boys movie was great!

  2. Vanderhootchie says:


  3. Jessica says:

    I couldn’t even watch with the sound toward the end, too much second hand embarrassment.

    I could see how he would be embarrassed, and not want to continue. If it were me, I would want to run off the stage, too. I may be projecting my own stage fright onto him, but to me he did look genuinely nervous. I would say that it looks like he didn’t rehearse enough beforehand since he didn’t know anything to say without the teleprompter, but then again stage fright can take everything you know down pat and wipe it from your head in the moment. I don’t know. He’s such a douche bag that I never want to have sympathy for him ever, but I have such stage fright myself that it’s hard for me to not sympathize with someone who suffers stage fright.

    • Jessica says:

      To add something to my comment: He’s a douche bag for not officially apologizing to Samsung. They paid him to be there, and he didn’t live up to their agreement, and he should publicly apologize (unless this was a publicity stunt, in which case, whatever).

      • Mary says:

        This guy is the worst! I met the cast of Texas chainsaw bc they happen to be in the back of the theater watching the preview of the movie they just filmed for Bad Boys 2… Anyway I was at an acting school in LA and I decided to ask for autographs(I am a small time girl). The cast was very nice and chatty but Mr. Michael Bay was hovering over them. Finally one of the actors said let me introduce you to Michael Bay. Well the first thing he said to me was “do you know who I am”? I replied, that I wasn’t really sure(I am a honest person, and he was pressing me). Well this severely aggravated him. So he grabbed the actor and said he must be moving on to more important people who could actually recognize a celebrity when they saw one. Mmmk – cut me a break I was 17 and had no honest clue and surely didn’t insult him on purpose. He was the most arrogant person ever who deliberately tried to make me feel awful bc I wasn’t as important as him. I honestly felt so bad I cried… I am happy Megan Fox called his ass out. He is just the worst who deserves a little embarrassment if you ask me- Might take him down a notch or ten!!

    • jinni says:

      I once was so scared of giving an oral presentation in front of my class that I started to blackout mid -speech. The only reason why I know I didn’t pass out is because I remember walking back to my desk, but I have no recollection of what I even said. It’s like I was so scared that the part of my brain that was aware of all of those people looking at me shutdown and the rest of me went into autopilot mode. But I got a B for the speech so I must of been okay.

  4. Mia4S says:

    Insert your own “Michael Bay needs a script” joke here.

  5. TG says:

    Didn’t he get attacked with an air conditioner while filming in Hong Kong? Lainey’s take on that is hilarious.

  6. Mary says:

    I think his whole life revolves around him overcompensating for his small penis.

  7. Leigh says:

    …..Or a giant publicity stunt to get everyone talking about Samsung and their new TV….?…

  8. bowers says:

    I had to google him.

  9. GIRLFACE says:

    What a douche. And his movies suck.

  10. lucy2 says:

    I’m a terrible public speaker so I can get the flustered/embarrassed thing, but I don’t feel bad for him. I doesn’t sound like he’d rehearsed or prepared, and if he was speaking about his own career, he should have been able to wing it. Or step off stage for a moment, get the teleprompter sorted out, and continue the job he was well paid for.

  11. bns says:

    Everyone keeps saying he “STORMED off” and “FLIPPED out” I was expecting something more dramatic. He just walked off.

    • V4Real says:

      I think he did what most of us would have done in that situation. He apologetically walked off because he couldn’t push the product without the teleprompter. Nerves and stage freight set in.

      There are plenty of people who may know their products inside and out but are not good with public speaking. That’s why not just Hollywood but even large corporations now use teleprompters to ease the mishap of their speakers stumbling over their words. Bay is a douche but he gets a pass on this one.

  12. Liberty says:

    So, I was trying to understand how you can do what he does for a living, and totally get your knickers twisted over a little technical glitch, and freak and run away like that?

    THEN: I remembered my niece’s Lizzie McGuire Movie.


    Go, Paolo Bay, go!

    • Irishserra says:

      Ah ha ha ha!!! I remember that! My daughter LOVED that movie and played it over and over and over again. She would “rewind” that part so many times that at the time I wanted to rip my ears off. But it was really cute!

  13. Evi says:

    His role was to perhaps add a few promotional words that Samsung wanted and he couldn’t do that with the teleprompt stuffing up.
    Poor diddums.
    I’m sure his ego will bounce back in no time.

  14. Irishserra says:

    ” I don’t get how a Hollywood director is unable to talk off the cuff about the career he’s had for decades, which he knows inside and out.”


    Even unprepared he should have at least been able to carry on a decent volley regarding his work. If anything, I think it speaks to the sad, shallow state that is Hollywood.

  15. napy says:

    thought I was a horrible public speaker –wow

  16. EscapedConvent says:

    I have no fondness for Michael Bay at all, but anyone can get stage fright. As a director, he’s used to ordering people around on a set, not speaking to an audience of people quietly looking up at him. He needed the teleprompter in order to make this appearance, & when it failed, he panicked. It makes sense to me; I cannot get on a stage at all. Every time Ive tried to, I’ve gone blank.

    Maybe people wouldn’t criticize him as much if he had been a grown-up & said “I panicked.”

  17. Rux says:

    How about “typical”

  18. Isabelle says:

    Actually looks like a pre-panic attack. Its rumored he has anxiety issues.

  19. angie says:

    Looked like the onset of a panic attack to me. I had a similar experience when I had to give a presentation for a former job, it’s hard to tell when they are gonna hit, but it doesnt necessarily mean he wasnt prepared. If he does indeed have anxiety issues, and Id wager he does by this, you really cant prepare enough, and it can still hit you — particularly if things go off of plan. There is no regrouping in panic mode, and everything in you is screaming to flee. When you get like that, it just goes blank. Everything. Cant talk, think, breathe, sometimes it feels like you literally can’t SEE. It’s terrifying. Im no fan, but Im not going to hassle the guy about something I know is uncontrollable and not something you can just soldier on through, when it’s a thing you deal with. That’s kind of the point.