Megan Fox: ‘I feel like I was sort of out and in front of the #MeToo movement’


It’s sort of nice how many people have sort of adjusted their opinions of Megan Fox over time. A decade ago, I thought she was an unprofessional brat and word-salad-spinner extraordinaire. But she went away, she grew up, she got partly bullied out of the industry and she had to work her way back in slowly. At this point, I mostly find Megan kind of harmless, and I even feel sort of protective of her – I think her marriage to Brian Austin Green sucks and I wish some director or writer really knew what to do with her. Anyway, Megan sat down for a lengthy interview with Entertainment Tonight. The purpose was to mark the 10-year anniversary of Jennifer’s Body, which was Megan’s first lead role. Jennifer’s Body has become something of a cult classic, and Diablo Cody (who wrote the script) was part of this interview too. You can read the piece here. Some highlights:

Megan on what was happening to her in 2009: “There was so much going on with me at that time, that movie being picked apart was not at the top of [my list of concerns]. Because I had such a fraught relationship with the public, and the media, and journalists, and I was struggling so much at that time in general, this didn’t stand out as a particularly painful moment, it was just part of the mix.”

The era of being sexualized and objectified: “It wasn’t just that movie, it was everyday of my life, all the time, with every project I worked on and every producer I worked with. It preceded a breaking point for me. I think I had a genuine psychological breakdown where I wanted just nothing to do. I didn’t want to be seen, I didn’t want to have to take a photo, do a magazine, walk a carpet, I didn’t want to be seen in public at all because the fear, and the belief, and the absolute certainty that I was going to be mocked, or spat at, or someone was going to yell at me, or people would stone me or savage me for just being out… so I went through a very dark moment after that.”

She felt like she was ahead of the #MeToo movement: “I feel like I was sort of out and in front of the #MeToo movement before the #MeToo movement happened, I was speaking out and saying, ‘Hey, these things are happening to me and they’re not OK.’ And everyone was like, ‘Oh well, f**k you. We don’t care, you deserve it.’ Because everybody talked about how you looked or how you dressed or the jokes you made.”

Megan doesn’t feel like “there is a space in feminism” for her: “Even though I consider myself a feminist, I feel like feminists don’t want me to be a part of their group. What is supporting other females if there is only certain ones of us we support? If I have to be an academic or have to be non-threatening to you in some way? Why can’t I be a part of the group as well? Considering all of the stuff that has happened since then, and is happening on a regular basis in this country, and with celebs [stories] we have everyday, I never really did anything that crazy. But I was really dragged through the coals for a lot of it.”

Being a mom in Hollywood: “Being a mother is not something really respected in this industry. If anything it’s considered as a handicap. And that’s unfortunate because it’s not acknowledged, what we’re juggling, what we’re doing.”

Megan’s work: “I get this all the time, people will be like, ‘You just don’t really work that much.’ And it’s like, I have given birth, I have gestated and given birth to three children. I stared in a movie that opened world wide, number one — twice! I was on a critically acclaimed sitcom. I f**king executive produced and created a show about archaeological controversies! How much more f**king productive does a f**king women need to be? F**k you!”

[From Entertainment Tonight]

You know what? Megan still has a point about how she was telling #MeToo stories before people were willing to listen. She tried – in her way – to talk about how Michael Bay made her feel, and how he behaved towards her and… she was fired from the Transformers franchise. She’s also right about how we – and I’m including myself – talked about how she did deserve to be fired, to be shunned, to be criticized. Because I really did think she was an unprofessional brat, and for several years, she oversaturated the media with those “sexy photoshoots” and whatever – we were like “well, Megan can’t complain about being objectified when she’s choosing to do a million scantily clad editorials.” She was just a really young woman in the studio system, being controlled by a lot of powerful men, men who then threw her away when she talked too much. *deep sigh* I’m sorry, Megan Fox.

55th Annual Cinema Audio Society Awards

Photos courtesy of WENN and Avalon Red.

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61 Responses to “Megan Fox: ‘I feel like I was sort of out and in front of the #MeToo movement’”

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  1. Snowslow says:

    She is not wrong.
    I also think she is too clever for the image that she created for herself (by that I mean obvious surgery and heaps of sex appeal, girl is sexy).
    People don’t know what to do with her because they think that someone like her can’t play the role of a scientist or a politician, probably. I can’t speak for her acting talents as I haven’t seen her in much but she comes across as someone quite humble and pretty smart (hocus pocus notwithstanding – she has some strange beliefs).

  2. Tiffany says:

    I think she needs to work with Karen Kusama again because she and Diablo brought out the best in Megan in this film. And I thought she was fantastic on the promotion for the film. Sharp and very self deprecating.

    Then again, Karen Kusama needs to work more as well.

  3. Sour Patch says:

    When all the #metoo stories started to surface Megan was the first person I thought of because she received such horrible backlash for speaking out against Michael Bay. Then Steven Spielberg telling Bay he needs to fire fox to protect himself. The way Megan was treated was terrible.

    Did she give some dumb interviews? Yes, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t a victim. I’ve always hoped she could have a good comeback and she’s great in Jennifer’s Body.

    • Safina says:

      @sourpatch completely agree.

    • Steff says:

      I wish some brave reporter would ask Spielberg directly about this…

    • Jadedone says:

      Agree 100%

    • ZanB says:

      You’re on point. Agreed!!!

    • S says:

      Her archaeology series was incredible. She was knowledgeable, had an open mind, and a curiosity to discover more. I was really impressed

    • Carol says:

      I remember her talking about Michael Bay too and was glad she was so outspoken about the douchebag. The backlash she got, especially from the Hollywood community, was awful. I don’t think she came off as a brat either when she was younger. It seemed like she was just frustrated by the types of “sexy” photo shoots she felt required to do – like she was boxed into a “femme fatale” image, maybe of her own making, and didn’t know how to get out of it. At least her interviews were always pretty amusing.

      • Incognito says:

        Michael Bay is a douche nugget. I have met him and the other male actors in Texas Chain Saw Massacre. We came to see Bad Boys 2, and the actors were standing in the back of the theater watching the preview for TCM. I got up to get popcorn and decided to say Hi when they were walking out… totally nice group. Then the energy abruptly changed… this small man came strutting up to me and the actor started to scramble out some praise words… like “I know you have heard of the super talented Michael Bay”, but really I had no clue who he was and was just trying to save face by saying “ I would love to meet him, and I am sure he’s super talented”. However, Michael Bay was on to me on his walk over and asked me LOUDLY point blank “You, YOU don’t know who I AM”?? My red face was the obvious answer… He then said “I should absolutely know who he was if I was ever going to make it*barf*” and I needed to run along(with hand gestures)and he had better things to do and I had wasted enough of thier time… I was so embarrassed then. Today I would be fine, but then I was in my early 20’s and in acting school. Just a girl who was semi-star struck and decided to say hello. He made me feel so bad that I can’t even imagine what Megan went through. He treats people like objects and any person would have to speak up on this man. I only had to deal with him for mere minutes but knew I’d rather be jobless than take a role from him. Also, I have met quite a few celebrities and none of them acted the with close to the entitlement he had. Side note: Jean-Claude Van Damme is the nicest, most friendly person ever… He gave me solid advice on the industry and introduced me to his family…. Just a truly nice man.

      • Sour Patch says:

        @incognito. I’m not surprised! Michael Bay seems awful. After-all, he had Megan audition for her role in transformers by washing his car in a bikini when she was 19 years old. He is truly vile. What a POS.

  4. AB says:

    Being a mom is considered a handicap in nearly every industry, unfortunately.

  5. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    In my opinion, we were all part of the movement. Most of us were catalysts in our small corners of the world, and we paved #metoo’s road. We are the collective voice. We endure. And now we stand in public solidarity.

  6. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I was one of those people as well who criticized her for speaking about Michael Bay. I was putting her in the bratty Katherine Heigl category when now I think she was a young woman trying to articulate what had happened and was happening to her in the industry. And for that I owe her an apology.
    And she’s absolutely right about her productivity being criticized. She doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone.

  7. Ann says:

    She is mind numbingly beautiful. Really just too stunning for words. I can see what she means about feminism. I think she’s tiptoeing around the fact that her beauty is the threat to other women, which is fine. She’s right and at the same time phrasing this in a way that isn’t conceited. I like her. She seems cool, and not in a Cool Girl kind of way, like actually cool.

    • Pixie says:

      @Ann, I think it’s pretty misogynistic to say women are threatened by beautiful women. Beautiful men and women actually benefit hugely from being attractive, and I would say Megan has had the success she has had, primarily because she is a beautiful woman (I personally don’t think she is a great actress)

      • Christina says:

        Being a young, attractive woman in that atmosphere is rough. Lots of people assume that you are getting advantages because of looks, but what you may really be getting is a ton of sexual harassment that no one has sympathy for because you are beautiful and dared to gild the lily with red lipstick or an outfit.

        Lots of women instantly hated me when I walked into a room in my 20s. I didn’t understand why so many women automatically hated me. Close girlfriends told me that it was jealously. I wasn’t someone who ran around half naked, either. It was LA, and many people, male and female, in LA judge women on looks. Many of the women being judged feel it and automatically resent anyone they perceive as more attractive, thus more competitive, in the shallow game. The game is important to so many people because of the money and access to patriarchal power. It’s why I left. I wanted to do social research, not be in show business. I got tired of people I barely knew telling me to lose weight so that I could be a model or an actress. Or that I looked like another women who slept around, so don’t talk to “that slut” (that happened at Carlos and Charlie’s on Sunset).

        Have my looks gotten me farther? Probably. I look White, but I’m not. The sexual harassment has tapered off now that I am older, but it hasn’t completely vanished.

      • Ann says:

        I don’t think it’s misogynistic at all. I’d say most women aren’t threatened by beauty, but some are. This is how I’m interpreting Megan’s words. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think I am.

        And you’re right that attractive people are in general treated better, but I bet every last conventionally attractive person has had to deal with jealousy and the meanness that comes with it.

      • Pixie says:

        @Christina, I am sorry you had a hard time living in LA, I imagine it is a difficult environment to be in for a woman. I have lived in lots of places and thankfully that has never been my experience with women. I will say, that most studies conclude that being attractive and beautiful according to euro-centric standards is a huge benefit socially and financially. There is really no doubt that Megan would not have the career she has had if she was unattractive (alongside almost every other man and woman in Hollywood). Of course, we also live in a sexist world where men and women are socialized to look down on women we perceive to be ‘too sexual’ or too preoccupied with their looks. Nonetheless, it really is far more complex than the notion that women are threatened or simply don’t like other women because they’re too beautiful. I think that is a sexist talking point, that serves to create a false narrative of discord between women.

      • Claire says:

        @ann I co-sign everything you said. I have also been treated this way and continue to be. I also was in LA during my formative years. Being beautiful makes people feel like you’re immune to things. Like they can be shitty to you without having to feel bad. It is so weird.

      • Christina says:

        Pixie, I agree that good looking people get more chances in life in general, and that this is statistically true. However, I also think that my experience is also true if your beauty doesn’t get you behind iron gates to live in a bubble with one’s admirers, like Aunt Becky, lol! Lori Loughlin got the life that everyone thinks pretty women get without trying. It can work like that, but not for most people.

      • Pixie says:

        @Christina, I think your experience is probably also heavily impacted by the fact that you lived in LA, which is pretty known for being really competitive and beauty oriented. I don’t think your experience is universal, and I have always felt lots of warmth and solidarity from other women. Most of the misogyny and sexism I have faced has come from men, and I think most of the women I know would agree with that. I guess we all have different personal perspectives

      • otaku fairy.... says:

        @Christina: I’m sorry you dealt with that. Even if you had chosen to wear revealing clothes, you would not have deserved or been at fault for the disrespect you got from men or women.

      • Dannii says:

        I agree with you pixie, its a pity she felt like that because the first group of people who I found were sympathetic to her were online feminists.

      • otaku fairy.... says:

        @Dannii: But it was sex-positive feminists specifically who defended her then, which proved her point. The feminist movement has a patriarchal pattern of hostility and sexual bullying toward girls and women who aren’t as sexually modest and demure as many feel they should be, and a long pattern of minimizing their abuse. Which just reaffirms the need for sex-positive feminism.

    • Originaltessa says:

      I agree. I remember watching Jennifer’s Body for the first time and thinking she was the most beautiful girl in the world, even when they tried to make her look bad. She still looks as beautiful as ever, if a bit plastic.

    • Bettyrose says:

      Ugh, Ann. No she isnt. She’s speaking openly about how she was treated by powerful men, and we are all assessing how we responded to that in 2009 vs how we’re reevaluating (and regretful of) our misjudgments at that time. Her beauty may have been a factor in assumptions made about her, but to reduce the quality of the dialog to patriarchal stereotypes pitting women against each other devalues all of us.

      • Gingerbread says:

        I agree, Ann. Not saying #AllWomen but a lot were ridiculously hard on her and at times I often wondered if it was because she was “too sexy”. She was loud about her sex appeal and how men treated her and because of that, women turned on her back then too. I think Megan might find the landscape a bit different now, but I can understand why she may be nervous to dip her toe in that pool now.

      • bettyrose says:

        When you comment on the behavior of women, are you speaking of yourself? A woman cannot make generalizations about women without including herself in the observation. If you yourself are not threatened by “sexy” women, please consider why you feel the need to accuse other women of this transgression.

    • Original T.C. says:

      I agree with her that many (not all) women are less sympathetic to “hot” women vs. pretty but “sexually neutral/non threatening” women like Emma Stone. However she appears to still not understand what feminism is. It’s not about women supporting each other, that’s “female empowerment”. Feminism is regarding equal treatment of men and women in all parts of life.

      So her case for feminism would be stronger if she points out an equivalent male pretty boy actor who was hired in a franchise as eye candy, spoke out about the director and was *not* fired. Blind support from women just because you have a vagina is *not* feminism. Republicans women purposeful make the same mistake.

    • Joanna says:

      @Ann, agree! I’m not a stunning woman but men seem to find me sexy. When I’m all covered up, women seem fine w me. But if I wear a tank top, men stare and women are cold to me. And I don’t try to get men’s attention either. But if I dare to wear something that doesn’t cover my breasts, I get a completely different reaction. And I’m not wearing anything but scoop neck tank tops. Women are usually nice to me until they see how men react to me. I shouldn’t have to cover up my body so people feel more comfortable with me. And I think the problem Meghan had was that she pissed off men but women didn’t want to defend her because they saw her as having more perks because of her looks and her sexy roles. So no one had her back or helped her. That’s a damn shame. I can’t imagine how women treat her. I’m average w a sexy body, shes gorgeous. People talk about women friends etc but imo, it hasn’t been great. Lot of women trying to one up each other or competing for favors from men in the workplace.

  8. Betsy says:

    I’m only familiar with her from New Girl, but I liked her very much in that.

  9. Pixie says:

    She is definitely an example of how Hollywood and society at large typically deal with young women who speak out against powerful men. #Metoo has made a marginal difference, but its not like women’s careers aren’t still being derailed because they had to audacity to speak out against a man. Although, I have no idea why she is saying that ‘feminists don’t want her in the group’. Who are the gatekeepers of feminism that are keeping her out? She should just say she is a feminist, and not invent non-existent backlash.

    • Bettyrose says:

      I think she means her road to feminism has been very different…i.e. She was washing cars for powerful men while we were learning our own voices in classrooms and communities….that there’s still a skepticism that she’s a tool of the patriarchy. And while we’re all working through those things here, having discussions with each other, she’s having a very different experience in her world. IDK. I’ve had a soft spot for her since she was booted from Transformers precisely because I thought she’d screwed up the only thing she’d ever be good at…and I regret my sense of her.

      • Pixie says:

        Hmm, I think it’s fair to say she has had a long road to feminism. I think the truth is that she did, for a few years at a young age, financially benefit by playing into patriarchal ideals. It sounds like she now regrets that, which is totally fine and lots of women bargain with patriarchy in Hollywood and the regular world, especially at a young age. I still don’t think there is anyone telling her she can’t be a feminist today. She is making it sound like there is some dimly lit backroom filled with feminists who decide who can and cannot be a part of the movement.

      • bettyrose says:

        I agree with you that there is no feminist gatekeeping, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t legitimately perceive it that way. There is so much internalized misogyny on this thread – accusing women of irrational behaviors toward more “sexy” women – that I can see how Megan Fox might be exposed to outdated mentalities in her own world.

  10. Naddie says:

    And she is one of the reasons why I boycott anything related to Michael bay, and also encourage people to do so. One of my dreams is to punch that d-bag face.
    Now, the unpopular opinion: let’s quit with the “they hate her cause she’s beautiful”, because her public persona was the epitome of the cool girl. Although she might have been shunned by the industry for the wrong reasons, she is really a terrible actress.

  11. MachineElf says:

    I am sorry Megan. Sometimes being beautiful can make it hard for people to empathize with you. You deserved better.

    • otaku fairy.... says:

      In other places, her point about misogyny and feminism is being proven so much. She & Diablo Cody aren’t wrong about a thing they said, but their calling this behavior inside and outside of the feminist movement won’t end well, as rape culture has shown us. People have become so used to being encouraged to victim-blame and slut-shame that being told that they shouldn’t often gets ‘mistaken’ for being told to never criticize anyone who happens to be female, too. The issue these women are talking about has been linked to PTSD, depression, self-harm, substance abuse, and suicide for people who aren’t men and boys. It also teaches women/girls to quietly accept different bad behaviors as ‘consequences ‘.
      The patriarchy has successfully forced an unnecessary divide between women based on the virgin-whore dichotomy, with those more on the imperfect victim side of that hierarchy being consistently being silenced, excluded, and being told to accept or at least take blame for what we’re slower to tolerate when directed at those whose human worth levels we consider to be higher. Two grown women, in all their privilege, are admitting to being afraid to discuss abuse toward themselves and knowing it will mean more psychological and emotional abuse from a human rights movement that’s supposed to be for women, due to their lack of female modesty along with the shit from men and conservatives. That’s dangerous, and that’s pretty much as good as it gets for women. As fun as it may be for people in those places to silence and be dismissive, it’s important to remember that that ‘Oh fuck you, you deserve it because everyone saw the way you looked/dressed/joked/etc’. mentality that was mentioned has real consequences for girls and women.

      • tealily says:

        I think your comment is bang-on, but wanted to add that, because women truly never can win, those on the virginal side of the dichotomy get shamed too, for being pathetic, desperate, flawed, or lonely. There is a very tiny window for what is actually “acceptable” sexuality in women may to participate without criticism in our society (or maybe no window?). And it’s not just coming from men and conservatives.

        TL:DR – F*ck the patriarchy. Thanks.

  12. Erin says:

    I think she comes across so well here. She never deserved the vitriol sent her way and the misogyny she experienced publicly was pretty horrifying. You CAN have it all – you can be a beautiful woman who is also competent, successful and a boss. She proves it. But look what’s she’s had to endure to do so.

    • Snowslow says:

      Agreed. I never understood how her denouncing Michale Bay turned him into a hero and her a pariah.
      My kids did not keep on watching the series, believe me. There’s plenty of other crap to watch.
      She is incredibly beautiful and likes to be sexy, and is apparently really good at what she does but people cannot accept that both go together. So sad.

  13. Kate says:

    Fist pumping at the whole “Megan’s work” section of what she said

  14. Fluffy Princess says:

    I hope that she gets her big “comeback” moment if that’s what she wants.

    With “Peak TV” still going strong, maybe she can get a roll in a great TV show. It would allow her to be home for her kids, especially if they shot it in LA.

    She deserves it.

  15. Jb says:

    I’m sorry too because I also judged her harshly and yes I’ll admit I have an internal bias against really beautiful women because I immediately think how easy their life must be being so conventionally attractive BUT the older I get the more I recognize this doesn’t make beautiful women free from the same bs I and so many other women go through. Screw Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg who treated her like meat then trash. I hope she finds more success in life and off topic doesn’t feel pressured to get more work on herself because she is such a truly beautiful woman.

    • Eleonor says:

      Agreed with you. And Steven Spielberg who remains untouchable must be called out. It’s easy to target Michael Bay, but Spielberg? Nobody does that. And I don’t believe for a minute he is this kind of super innocent person.

  16. sunshine gold says:

    When she says being a mother isn’t respected in the industry, it feels a little like a canned talking point – for below the line people and crew, yes, but when you’re at her level does it really hamper you? Think about Emily Blunt, Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Reese Witherspoon, Naomi Watts, Sandra Bullock – almost every major actress over a certain age has kids. It feels disingenuous, and it’d be nice if she was more specific and spoke out not for A or B list actresses, but everyone else.

  17. Lizzy says:

    I’m very sorry what happened to Meghan and that nobody really cared about her. But she was fired because she compared Bay with Hitler which was and still is out of proportion and defamation.

    • Naddie says:

      It might be logically, but when I read more about him I could understand her. Man thinks and acts like a predator and she was a first hand victim. I’m waiting for the day he’ll have what he deserves.

  18. Wisca says:

    I always thought women treated MF terrible and I STILL believe Katherine H was wrongly vilified for calling out the underlying misogyny of that Apatow flick (which, admittedly, I enjoyed but rethought).