In a 2009 Jimmy Kimmel Live! clip that has been making the rounds on Twitter, the actress, now 34, told a story about being cast as an extra in Bad Boys II shortly after her 15th birthday.
“They were shooting this club scene, and they brought me in, and I was wearing a stars-and-stripes bikini and a red cowboy hat and, like, six-inch heels. And he [Michael] approved it,” she recalled. “They said, ‘You know, Michael, she’s 15, so you can’t sit her at the bar and she can’t have a drink in her hand.’ So his solution to that problem was to then have me dancing underneath a waterfall, getting soaking wet, at 15. I was in 10th grade. That’s sort of a microcosm of how Bay’s mind works.”
In response, Kimmel, now 52, joked, “Well, that’s really a microcosm of how all our minds work. Some of us have the decency to repress those thoughts and pretend that they don’t exist.”
Countless Twitter users slammed Bay, 55, and the late-night host after the interview resurfaced. The hashtag “#CancelKimmel” also became a trending topic on the social media platform on Tuesday, June 23.
Fox issued a lengthy response to the backlash via Instagram on Monday, June 22, to set the record straight.
“While I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support, I do feel I need to clarify some of the details as they have been lost in the retelling of the events and cast a sinister shadow that doesn’t really, in my opinion, belong. At least not where it’s currently being projected,” the Transformers star began.
“I was around 15 or 16 years old when I was an extra in Bad Boys II. There are multiple interviews where I shared the anecdote of being chosen for the scene and the conversations that took place surrounding it,” she continued. “It’s important to note however that when I auditioned for Transformers I was 19 or 20. I did ‘work’ (me pretending to know how to hold a wrench) on one of Michael’s Ferrari’s during one of the audition scenes. It was at the Platinum Dunes studio parking lot, there were several other crew members and employees present and I was at no point undressed or anything similar.”
After insisting that she “was not made to ‘wash’ or work on someone’s cars in a way that was extraneous from the material in the actual script,” Fox noted that other Hollywood heavyweights have behaved much worse than Bay and Kimmel. She also clarified that she was “never assaulted or prayed upon” by the director.
“Please hear me when I thank you for your support. But these specific instances were inconsequential in a long and arduous journey along which I have endured some genuinely harrowing experiences in a ruthlessly misogynistic industry,” she wrote. “There are many names that deserve to be going viral in cancel culture right now, but they are safely stored in the fragmented recesses of my heart.”
The controversy came days after social media users resurfaced clips of Kimmel in blackface on The Man Show.
Us Weekly has reached out to Bay and Kimmel’s reps for comment.
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