Ah, the [Transformers Franchise](tag:2395268). Soon to explode into yet more sequels - they've got ten years of films planned, whether we like it or not - Transformers is ready to take over Hollywood. But as successful as the franchise is, Transformers is no stranger to controversy. With contentious directors, racist writing, and sexual harassment, the Transformers scandals really don't end! So what made these celebrities rage-quit the franchise?
Megan Fox Lashes Out
Let's get right down to it: Megan Fox shocked many people in 2009 when she compared Michael Bay to Hitler in his apparently tyrannical directorial style. Fox's comments are considered by many to be out of line, but she and Michael Bay have a complicated history.
Involved in her career from the beginning, Bay has been criticized of objectifying Fox even when she was just 15: he cast her as an extra in a party scene of the film Bad Boys 2, where the teenage actress was instructed to wear and bikini and dance sexily. According to Jason Solomons of the Guardian, Megan Fox had to wash Bay's Ferrari in order to audition for her role in Transformers. Yeesh.
Shia LaBeouf recently commented to the LA Times on Michael Bay's attitude to Megan Fox on set...
When Mike would ask her to do specific things, there was no time for fluffy talk. And the one thing Mike lacks is tact. There’s no time for [LaBeouf assumes a gentle voice] "I would like you to just arch your back 70 degrees."
This controversy raged on, with everyone involved in the franchise voicing their opinions, which made the whole thing pretty entertaining for us mere mortals. And just when you thought things had calmed down, with Megan Fox tastefully replaced by Rosie Huntington-Whitley, it turns out the new actress had similar problems...
Take A Hike!
Michael Bay certainly has an interesting audition process. After asking model-turned-actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley if she could walk, Bay drove her out to the middle of the desert and made her do just that: walk through scorching sand. In high heels.
The car dumped me in the middle of the desert. And he says, "OK, when we shout action, you're going to walk!" So I walked all the way back to where the camera was standing, which took me I would say a good 10, 12 minutes, and it was a proper runway stomp, on salt flats; it was like 100 degrees, felt like fire. I was pretty pissed off afterwards; I just looked at Michael, and he goes, "I guess you can walk, then."
This wasn't Huntington-Whiteley's last time in the desert but thankfully, she got to kick some butt in her next sandy outing...
Of course, we don't know if this is why the actress left the franchise, but it certainly sounds like an unusual audition technique.
Conforming To Stereotypes
Aziz Ansari is the latest actor to cast some shade on the Transformers franchise, which came a bit out of the blue considering he was never actually in the films. But he could have been, apparently, if the role hadn't required him to play into some pretty uncomfortable stereotypes.
It was a role for like a call-center guy who has an accent. And I was like, "No, I’m not doing it." And then [friend and costar] Ravi [Patel] was like, "I’ll do it." And I don’t have anything against someone who does the accent. I understand. You got to work.
Ansari revealed this during a Q&A with Vulture in which he commented on whitewashing and racism in Hollywood. Here's the scene, in case you were curious...
I guess Aziz Ansari isn't going to be appearing in Transformers any time soon!
And The Rest...
No article about celebrity Transformers scandals would be complete without at least a cursory mention to everyone's favorite cannibal, Shia LaBeouf. Although his decision to leave the Transformers franchise was perfectly amicable - he just wanted to pursue other projects - in the years since he moved on, LaBeouf has been somewhat disparaging about the blockbusting franchise.
"Bumblebee never sounds real, it’s just a fucking name. The name alone you can never make real, no matter how much you put into it, because on the other side you have a director who doesn’t believe it either."
But Shia, Bumblebee was your friend! How can you turn on him like this?!
There's also this freestyle rap Shia did where he's uh, not exactly kind to the franchise that shot him to international fame.
So there you have it folks! If the movies weren't entertaining enough, the behind the scenes gossip is certainly intriguing. And with [Transformers 5](tag:1325503) just around the corner, who knows what scandals we'll see next?