Aaron R. Davis
I am not a fan of Megan Fox. People who know me knew this, back when people still talked about Megan Fox. I’m just not into her. I don’t hate her. I don’t even know her. She’s just not someone I’m a fan of, even though everyone was telling me I was supposed to be back when she was a big deal.
The reason I bring up Megan Fox is that there was a news outbreak last week that she had been cast to play April O’Neil in the Michael Bay-produced reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Now, I’m old enough to remember when all things geeky weren’t in the mainstream. So I still have this habit of looking at various outlets for news of comic book movies or science fiction TV shows, craving any bit of new information as it slowly leaked out. I still haven’t gotten used to this irritating, redundant new world of the Internet, where every single site carries every single bit of news, so you end up reading the editorial spin on the same piece of information over and over and over again. And this week, the most annoying bit of info was that Michael Bay had “forgiven” Megan Fox for comparing him to Hitler (how magnanimous of him) and that she was now going to play April in the new big-screen incarnation of TMNT.
Now, it’s actually not annoying to me that Megan Fox was cast in the role. What’s annoying to me is reading the same story over and over and over again about “WTF! Megan Fox??? This is the worst news ever!! Why does Michael Bay keep doing this to meeeee????!!!11!!!”
Short answer: because you let him.
I have talked about this over and over and over, but it’s like no one gets it. If you don’t like it when some Hollywood filmmaker “disrespects the franchise,” just don’t go see the movies. Just don’t do it. Because when someone in Hollywood looks at a sheet of numbers and sees something less than they were hoping, they don’t make more of them. You think they give a shit about your blog post complaining about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, or that witty comment you left on some site completely tearing down Transformers: Dark of the Moon? Of course they don’t. They only care that you spent money on it. Your opinions are irrelevant. You already gave them what they wanted: cash.
Why don’t more people get this? Filmmaking is a democracy. You vote with your dollars. Any dollar you spend going to see a movie — whether you really wanted to see it or whether you were going “to see how bad it is” or whether you just couldn’t stand being the only person in your office not going — is you voting “yes” and telling Hollywood they can cast all the Megan Foxes and Shia LaBeoufs they want and it doesn’t really matter because you’ll go no matter what. That’s the only thing germane to the Hollywood decision-making process.
So, honestly, you can get as upset about Megan Fox as you want, but it really doesn’t matter, because you know you’re going to see it. The Turtles could be played by One Direction and you’d go to see it just because you don’t want to miss out on talking about what an awful film that would be. But all Hollywood sees is that One Direction makes money when you put them in movies. And you’d deserve it.
Look, the thing about this project is this: it’s Michael Bay, and you know by now whether you like Michael Bay, so if it sounds awful, you’re allowed to skip it. It’s not like there’s a great legacy of awesome TMNT movies; most of them are various levels of bad or okay. Most of you are too old to be complaining that Bay is ruining something just because he makes decisions you might not make. Really, it’s alright if you don’t rush out the door and see it, especially if it just doesn’t seem entertaining to you. That’s something you people really need to get comfortable with: you’re allowed to not go see a movie, because you’re the only one who cares about your opinion of it. Why not spend your life seeing things you think you’d like instead?
And the thing about Megan Fox is: she’s an actress. She’s not doing this to piss you off. She’s taking a job because she likes feeding and clothing her family and paying her bills and I’m sure she finds acting fulfilling. Maybe you don’t like her as an actress, maybe you don’t, but seriously, tone it down. I’m sure she’s as unhappy with the name-calling (a couple of sites even went so far as to attack her for being too old, which, go to hell) as you are with your bizarre fantasies that she’s staining some kind of legacy of April O’Neil actually never having been portrayed well in a movie. Isn’t it enough that she had to publicly swallow her pride so that Michael Bay could grant her the favor of employment and then make a big show of it like a prick? (Seriously, I am so beyond sick of hearing about how she was ungrateful for having an opinion, especially when it comes from some ass like Shia LaBeouf, who is much more public about badmouthing his own movies and trashing the people he works with. Not that Shia LaBeouf being a hypocrite is in any way a surprise.)
I know I say this all the time, but when you’re writing angry things about Megan Fox, it’s time to calm down and have some yogurt and close your eyes for a couple of minutes. Just don’t go see it if this pisses you off so much. Or go see it and get angry. I don’t care. Just don’t bug me with it.
That’s the real takeaway here: leave me alone. Your hatreds aren’t as profound as you think they are.
Aaron R. Davis lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with his eyes shut tight and his fingers in his ears. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.