Hey, you guys, Megan Fox! Oh, my goodness, I love Megan Fox. I don’t even know WHY; she just seems like such a jerk all the time. But a fun jerk! Like, you could buy her a drink and be jerks together. She’d say super-awful things all the time, and they’d all be entertaining and ill-advised and obscurely like 80% correct, but still terrible, and you’d love her for it. She’d be like, “so, basically, chicks hate me because of my sweet-ass rack. And yet, that very sweet-ass rack pays my rent! So I don’t care, really!” And you’d be like, “oh, Megan Fox! You are so irrepressible! Do go on!” And then some chicks in the back would be, a little too loudly and eagerly, like, “it’s not the rack! It’s what the rack says about patriarchal beauty standards! Also, the fact that you would dare question our motives in regard to the rack! We hate you more for thinking we hate the rack than we did before now, when we were hating mostly the political implications of the rack, so shut up and don’t ever imply that we have less than pure and noble reasons for hating, er, intellectually critiquing your rack!” And you’d sort of silently be like, “hmmmmmmm.” But you wouldn’t say anything, because you wrote for a feminist blog! And the chicks would come for you next! You would fail to stand up for your friend Megan Fox, and it would be very sad. And then she’d say something awful about her boss!
Oh, did you hear about the thing with her boss? This is real, actually. It is not just my Megan Fox fan fiction (WHICH I DON’T WRITE) (AND DON’T HAVE AN ENTIRE DRAWERFUL OF AT HOME) (THERE IS NOT A SERIES IN WHICH WE ARE BUDDY COPS, BY THE WAY). Megan Fox was saying terrible shit about her boss, who is Michael Bay, and also disgusting, for years. This terrible shit: It seemed pretty accurate. Like, for example, she pointed out that the Transformers movies were not good, and also that he was a fucking pain to work with because he was gross, and you wouldn’t think either of these things would be too terribly controversial. BUT THEY WERE. Because while she was saying all of this terrible stuff, people were like, “Why is that chick with the rack mouthing off so much? She seems like such a bitch.” And then she finally said something about him making her tan too much, and being verbally abusive, and he fired her, and people are now, like just now, noting that it was actually pretty risky for a B-list starlet to point out the abuse and exploitation that she went through while working for one of the more powerful directors out there. And that she still should have maybe done it anyway. Uh, whoops?
Anyway, you all know why I love Megan Fox now, apparently. But let us discuss the subject! Even further! With Amanda Hess of The Sexist!
ILLUSTRATION: Also, apparently, this happened. It is Heidi Montag auditioning for the much-coveted role of No Longer Megan Fox Girlfriend Lady in “Transformers 3.” And DON’T SAY YOU WEREN’T WARNED.
SADY: Why, hello! I come to you today in a great spirit of mourning. For an icon has fallen.
AMANDA: In the great battle of Bay v. Fox v. Robo Alien Monster Truck?
SADY: YES. The battle that shall define our times! Sort of! Basically, I’m kind of sad and kind of happy that I called this. Back when Megan Fox was mouthing off about Bay, everyone was like, “she’s only doing this because it helps her career.” And it’s just, like… How often does a woman speaking her not-entirely-complimentary mind about a much more powerful man HELP her career? We wanted to punish her then, and I’m getting a vibe of distinct celebration because we can SEE her getting punished now. By, um, being dropped from “Transformers.” Surely the worst of all fates!
AMANDA: Haha, right? Allow me to reproduce this quote from the FOXNews take on the kerfuffle: “If Megan was indeed verbally abused, and pulls back the curtain on what is really going on in Hollywood, and tells her story to the right person like Oprah, she could reach icon status,” said Associated Press pop culture reporter Natalie Rotman. “There has been a long history of tyrant male directors in Hollywood. If Bay really did verbally abuse Fox and she is the first to speak up to a bully director, it could make her a pioneer.” So, the choices for women in Hollywood are: Star in the third installment in a really really really really awful alien robot blockbuster series, or become an icon … by rejecting the idea that you, MEGAN FOX, are a sickly pale excuse for a Hot Girl.
SADY: Ha, yeah. Fair enough!
AMANDA: I love that Megan Fox is speaking out against Michael Bay, who legitimately sounds like an abusive douchebag. But I am also amused that Megan Fox could be a pioneer in the important feminist cause of “Actually, I Am Hot.” But I pretty much love everything about Megan Fox, largely because I know a lot of people hate everything about Megan Fox? To the point that there is actual cultural commentary from news sources speculating that Megan Fox not being in the third Transformers movie could hurt her career. How does that work?
SADY: Right. I mean, I do wonder, because she has been affiliated with that franchise ABOVE ALL OTHERS! Mostly because she has not ever stopped talking about how hideous working with Michael Bay is. Most of her other stuff has died an inglorious, potentially Diablo-Cody-related death.
AMANDA: Even though she got her start dancing under a waterfall in an American Flag bikini for him. How could this relationship ever sour?
SADY: Right? I really did think that those two kids could work it out! But I think it’s interesting that she has this new second life as a Feminist Pioneer thanks to the fact that we can see her statements actually have negative consequences for her. Because before, when she was saying all this, the official party line was, “Megan Fox seems like such an asshole!” It’s like, the second we could identify her as a victim, we started listening to stuff she’d been saying for years. Because now she could be officially embraced as an underdog.
AMANDA: Right. I remember when she was complaining about Michael Bay making her go look at all the Egyptian pyramids. And everyone was like “What a bitch!” But deep down I know that a trip to the pyramids with Michael Bay was probably teeming with his authoritative douchery. You just know it was!
SADY: And then there was that “mystery” blog post or whatever about what a bitch Megan Fox was for not enjoying the pyramid trip, which plenty of people speculated was written by Bay himself. I mean, I doubt that Megan Fox has suffered more than anyone else on the planet. I just genuinely think she’s a girl who can’t stop herself from complaining when she suffers. Which, you know, as a whiner and occasional asshole myself, I found myself deeply in sympathy with that response. And I think that what she’s talking about probably isn’t unusual, for Hot Girls; she’s just whiny enough to talk about it.
AMANDA: Yes… And all the complaining about Fox “mouthing off” about directors was always actually about how moviegoers think Megan Fox is hot and talentless, and therefore she is only allowed to provide masturbation material, and no personal commentary on what it’s like to be professional masturbation material. And now Michael Bay comes out and says, “You are only useful as masturbation material, and also, you are a few shades too pale and a couple sizes too small to be good enough masturbation material for me, at the current juncture.”
SADY: Right. “There are other women to whom I and the American public would prefer to masturbate! More unfamiliar, and potentially younger, and more inexperienced women! BRING FORTH THE AUDITION BIKINI! We will meet at the Audition Waterfall to discover America’s next great boner!”
AMANDA: Yeah, and it really makes you wonder what these people expect of Fox as an acting talent. Her role in Transformers, most specifically was her gyrating on alien robot cars for a couple of hours and gratuitously bending over in front of Shia LaBeouf some. And people are like, “Sheeee’s teeeerrrrrrriiiibbbbllleee!”
SADY: RIGHT? Like, when was she asked to be anything other than terrible? Was there like a point in “Transformers 3” where she would be required to recite a soliloquy from “Hamlet?” Is that why they cut her?
AMANDA: I really think that criticizing her acting skills is a way to weasel out of the truth of the situation, which is that people demand female characters that actually aren’t characters, but rather bodies. And when an actress like Fox embodies this expectation perfectly, they blame it on her lack of skill, not on their fucked up desires.
SADY: Yeah. I mean, I have seen her act, and she IS really, really bad at it. But it’s not like she was playing Margaret Thatcher, you know? And, like: Fox seemed pretty aware of that throughout. She was never (or rarely) like, “I would like to become a Serious Actress, and take on Oscar-worthy roles of massive cultural importance in tomorrow’s film classics!” She was just like, “yep. I’m a Hot Girl. Being Hot isn’t always necessarily something that I’m into! But it’s my job! And I hate it sometimes, just as you hate the data processing that you do.” She seemed so self-aware of the whole thing, being an object with a date of expiration. And now her genius is that she’s been loud enough for the date of her expiration to be announced all over as if it weren’t happening every day to every other Hot Girl in the business.
AMANDA: Yeah, and I wonder what people are actually looking for actresses to do with the Hot Girl role. Do they want them to act their way out of the Hot Girl paper bag and turn a deliberately 2-dimensional character into an actually compelling performance that makes the Hot Girl actually seem like a real person, even if she’s not supposed to be one? That sounds unreasonable. I think I’ve figured it out, actually. I think they want a Hot Girl who could also go put on a fake nose and play fucking Thatcher or whatever and win that Oscar, but also sometimes want to play dumb and sexy for the movies, because they like it. The Hot Girl transition does not appear to be in the cards for Megan Fox anytime soon though. I have perused her future projects on IMDB, and they are predictably hilarious. But also probably not as bad as Transformers 3.
SADY: PROBABLY. She has apparently done a voice-over for “Pokemon!” So when the live-action motion picture experience comes to a theater near you, I guess we know who that one Hot Lady Villain with the blue-haired sidekick will be.
AMANDA: Like, in one movie the plot is described as this: “An angel under the thumb of a ruthless gangster is saved by a trumpet player down on his luck.”
SADY: “The U.S. military makes a scarred bounty hunter with warrants on his own head an offer he cannot refuse: in exchange for his freedom, he must stop a terrorist who is ready to unleash Hell on Earth.” Is Megan Fox the scarred bounty hunter? Or Hell?
AMANDA: I WISH. In that one, she plays an olde-tyme strumpet love interest of an old western bounty hunter seeking revenge on John Malkovich for burning his face off (OR SOMETHING). I really hope they have scenes together. Fox and Malkovich.
SADY: Oh, God. The strange facial decisions! I cannot even imagine! She does shoot a gun, sexily, in the previews, if I recall correctly. But there are no olden-tymey motorcycles for her to hump/fix whilst the camera lingers lovingly on her ass, one would imagine.
AMANDA: Haha. I’m sure the camera will find something to dwell on, with that whole olde-tyme strumpet business and all.
SADY: I mean, that’s the thing. People have been calling Megan Fox “ungrateful” since forever. And I can’t figure out what she’s supposed to be grateful for. Being in the worst-reviewed film franchise of recent years? Having her ass used as a plot point and/or focus of interest for sweaty dudes who have, FOR WHATEVER BIZARRE REASON, a really strong interest in “Transformers?” Knowing the role she plays in the fantasies of said sweaty dudes, and/or professional film critics, who write her ass up as one of the view interesting points in said film franchise? Money? Sure, money. I’d be fine with money. But I get creeped out when a dude looks down my shirt on the street. Megan Fox has been, since high school, a professional Shirt down which to Look. People are just so bitter that she’s not into it! She’s not even NOT into it; she does it all the time. But she’s not like, “ohhhh, I just sit at home in my lacy underthings thinking about all you sweaty dudes and the hot things I’m going to do with your action figures when we meet.”
AMANDA: Amazing. I recently read another account of her “complaining”: In said “angel under the thumb of a ruthless gangster is saved by a trumpet player down on his luck” movie someone on set took a camera photo of her while she was standing naked in some sort of glass circus cage? For some plotline? And they sent the photo around the Internets, and she was rightfully pissed about it She was basically like, “You’re taking a picture of me naked while I’m working. I’m trying to work over here and you’re being an asshole.” And that’s the thing—people want to pretend that this sort of thing isn’t “work.” That it’s the easiest thing in the world to be what Megan Fox is, and that she is just a lazy ungrateful bitch because she makes it clear that it is work and not her personal sexy fun time.
SADY: Right. Because this “plotline” (!) that “required” her to be naked also probably “required” her to be, like, at the very least conscious of how she was standing and moving and etc. etc. etc. And it was a controlled environment, and this and that and the other. And then some dude is like, “oh, great, you’re naked! Clearly this is consent for me to send my iPhone picture of the event to the entire Internet!” Like, what was she supposed to do? Wait, don’t tell me: Be quiet and autograph something for him.
AMANDA: Like his penis.
SADY: “Megan, I have a pitch for you! It’s about a down-on-his-luck iPhone camera user and a starlet imprisoned in a glass cage who can only escape through utilizing her secret superpower. Her secret superpower is giving blowjobs. Also. Anyway, we’re auditioning for the part later, if you’re interested! If you are not interested, I will tell the Internet what a bitch you are, also. That is another part of my movie. For which I am casting. Right now.”
AMANDA: “Also in this movie the cure for ungrateful bitchiness is handjobs.”
SADY: Wow. I really think this could be Megan’s comeback!