Michael Bay is used to controversy – from Meghan Fox comparing him to Hitler on the set of Transformers to Libya’s Foreign Ministry accusing him of making the north African country look “fanatical and ignorant” in 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. This week it’s been about his comments on Kate Beckinsale’s looks.
Beckinsale was on the U.K.’s Graham Norton Show when she shared what it was like to work with Bay on Pearl Harbour.
“I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren’t bigger than my head and I wasn’t blonde,” Beckinsale recounted. “I’d just had my daughter and had lost weight, but I was told that if I got the part, I’d have to work out. And I just didn’t understand why a 1940s nurse would do that.”
On top of that Beckinsale said that during the film’s press tour Bay would praise Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett while giving her backhanded compliments.
“When we were promoting the film, Michael was asked why he had chosen Ben and Josh, and he said, ‘I have worked with Ben before and I love him, and Josh is so manly and a wonderful actor,’” she told Graham Norton. “Then when he was asked about me, he’d say, ‘Kate wasn’t so attractive that she would alienate the female audience.’ He kept saying it everywhere we went — and we went to a lot of places!”
So this week Bay was doing damage control. He went on his site to defend himself against the body-shaming accusations.
“This poster has hung proudly over my desk for 15 years. Yesterday I read in the press that I don’t think Kate Beckinsale is ‘a stunning beauty,’ huh?” he posted along with a Pearl Harbour poster. “And they went on to suggest that Kate and I don’t like each other?”
“Well, totally untrue. Kate and I are friendly. She is a fantastic actress, very funny, witty lady, sassy, speaks her mind, and I truly respect her. That’s why she has come to so many of my Christmas parties and Birthday parties. This so called ‘problem of us not liking each other’ was reported by a tabloid-esque reporter after Kate appeared on an edgy English talk show, speaking about our meeting 16 years ago while casting Pearl Harbor. The reporter made her story into some scandalous confrontation, when it was nothing of the sort. Spoke to Kate today and she felt she told a funny story.”
“So I guess I was the “bad guy” 16 years ago for suggesting a trainer because she just had her new beautiful baby girl—and she was about to enter into an intensive action movie. Note to reporters: 95 % of leads in movies have trainers and drink green juice!”
He could have taken the opportunity to talk about body-shaming and how female actresses are treated in Hollywood, but he decided to remind everyone he and Beckinsale are ‘friends.’ This isn’t the first time some clueless crap has come out of his mouth. Vulture put together a great collection of Bay quotes that further demonstrate his ignorance, and these stuck out:
“They bring in tons of heels, and I walk in there knowing nothing about fashion. I just go from a guy’s perspective. I say, ‘Those suck. What are those effin’ chunky heels? Get ’em out of here.’ And they’re like, ‘But these are in style!’ ‘I don’t care. They’re gonna be out of style in a week. Guys don’t like chunky heels. Get rid of ’em.” – he told Maxim in 2013 about shooting a Victoria’s Secret ad.
“Films make everything too beautiful. That’s not real life. Honestly, doing Victoria’s Secret is the most nonsexual job in the world. I don’t pick up anybody I work with. It’s kind of bizarre, but I could be shooting a glazed donut. There have only been a couple of moments where I actually went, ‘Wow!’” – he told Maxim about working with women.
“It’s like, you know, I had a reporter here who said, ‘Would you ever date a girl who didn’t like your movies?’ I’m like, Yeah. Yeah. Um. Yee-aah. That’s, you know, you don’t have to like what I do. You know? It’s just something I like doing.” – Bay told Esquire in 2001.
“By week two, Martin was being a dick to me. And I was like, ‘What is this attitude?’ He didn’t trust the white man. That was the deal… [Eventually] I took him aside and said, ‘Dude, what’s your deal? I’m busting my ass to make you look good, make you look funny. And you just keep belittling me.’ And then here’s the speech, almost like it was ready to come out. He says, ‘I’m a black man that made it from nothing!’ And I said, ‘You know what? I’m a white guy who made it from nothing, too. I grew up in the fuckin’ Valley.’ Instant respect.” – he told GQ in 2011 about working with Martin Lawrence on Bad Boys.
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