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How Does Megan Fox’s Downfall Reflect the Patriarchal Hierarchy in Hollywood?

Posted on November 25, 2019

A scene from Jennifer's Body

20th Century Fox

Back when Transformers by Michael Bay was a global sensation, Megan Fox was voted as one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. Through the character Mikaela, Fox successfully portrayed a sexy and charming female figure. However, everything went downhill after she showed dissatisfaction toward Michael Bay’s behavior as a director. Fox’s career was immediately sabotaged after the statement.

The media perceived Megan Fox’s statement as being “chatty” and ungrateful after the success that Michael Bay brought to her. Consequently, it marked the end of Fox’s career. More than seven years later, Megan Fox’s reputation is slightly recovered from the launch of Ninja Turtles directed by Michael Bay. The comeback marked as the end of the feud between Megan Fox and Michael Bay. People see Michael Bay as a generous man that forgave Fox’s wrong behavior but skeptics like myself see this as the industry mistreating women.

Notably, the mistreatment comes from many aspects but I’ll focus on two. The dominant power that Michael Bay has over Megan Fox’s career is not only supported by the media but also the patriarchal system that favors men over women. The inequality aspect comes from the fact that Megan Fox didn’t do anything wrong. She simply shared her bad experience but the media amplified her words in order to profit from a society that targets women.

Another aspect of women’s mistreatment is the sexualization and “type-casting” in the industry. The objectification toward women is undeniable, especially in Megan Fox’s case. Megan Fox always gets type-casted as a “slutty,” “hot girl” character with no real character development. An example of this is her famous movie Jennifer’s Body. During the interview, “Jennifer’s Body Reunion: Megan Fox and Diablo Cody Get Candid About Hollywood,” they share the fact that the initial script has more focus on the dynamic relationship between the two female characters. However, for the sake of profitability and commercialization, the producers choose to emphasize the sexual scenes between the two female characters. This is used to convey a sense of voyeuristic experience in the patriarchal and misogynistic society where a movie is only expected to succeed due to the sexualization of female characters. As a result, Megan Fox’s ability is degraded and underestimated due to the sexualization that objectified her into a certain sexual tool.

Through Megan Fox’s case, I would say the #MeToo movement is always relevant because there is not enough justice happening in the industry. There will be no change if “type-casting” and the media’s bias are still normalized. Consequently, there will be a second, third, and many more “Megan Fox’s” in the industry.

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