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Chris O’Dowd and Jon Hamm Have Our Backs, Ladies [UPDATED]

And the award for Mensch of the Day goes to: both Chris O’Dowd and Jon Hamm, both of whom had roles in Bridesmaids and are now appearing together in Friends With Kids. But it’s not their roles that have them getting their lovely mugs featured in a blog post today — it’s what they’re saying about women in Hollywood. Namely, women who have been treated unfairly. Okay, here is how we’re really going to grab you with this one: Chris O’Dowd calls Michael Bay an a-hole after the jump, so you’ll want to read that. UPDATE: Never mind about Chris O’Dowd, apparently he took back what he said about Michael Bay.

Oh good! We successfully got your attention. We’ll start with Mr. Hamm before getting to O’Dowd’s comment. Hamm is the longtime boyfriend of Jennifer Westfeldt, a woman who writes, directs, produces, and performs in her own movies, as well as other projects here and there. Before she made Friends With Kids, she made her screenwriting debut in 2001′s Kissing Jessica Stein, which she co-wrote and starred in with former collaborator Heather Juergensen. In 2006, she wrote, produced, and starred in Ira and Abby. She also acts in things she didn’t write, like a supporting role on 24 and her Tony-nominated turn in the revival of Wonderful Town. Jennifer Westfeldt is a very accomplished woman, to say the least.

And Hamm, who has been with Westfeldt since 1997, has stood by her side while she withstood rejection, disappointment, and a general lack of support by both men and women in the film industry:

People are going to be naturally predisposed to dislike sisters who are doing it for themselves. And it’s crazy, and it’s not just men; it’s very often other women…There seems to be this expectation of: Hold on, lady. You just stay in your place. Don’t try to reach for too much.

Now, O’Dowd. One of the co-stars of Friends With Kids is Megan Fox, who plays the love interest of Adam Scott, whose character has a baby with Westfeldt’s character while they agree to remain platonic co-parents and date other people. As we know, Fox had a bit of a falling out with Michael Bay after she criticized her part in the Transformers franchise. And then Bay fired her. O’Dowd has stepped up to defend Fox, using some words I think many of us would choose to use to describe Michael Bay:

I don’t know the ins and outs of it but it’s all down to having a fallout with Michael Bay. But who wouldn’t have a fallout with him? It’s one of the sexist things (sic) I’ve ever seen. She called him an a**hole. Well, he is a f**king a**hole. She’s not the only one who has said that. Why has she been singled out?

We’re not going to sit here and argue with Chris O’Dowd. Not when we know that Michael Bay wants to turn the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into aliens. And also, how he treats women on the sets of his movies.

Update: Never mind. Think Progress has pointed out that O’Dowd took back his comments:

What I actually said was; ‘The way the Press gleefully dealt with the firing of a young woman was one of the most sexist things I’ve ever seen. People shouldn’t revel in seeing anyone lose a job. The dismissal of an old male actor would never have been welcomed with the same joy and ridicule.’ It was naive of me to assume a remark aimed at the sexism in the entertainment press would reach its target in the entertainment press. I’m new to all this and that was stupid of me.

Awwww, those guys that guy!

(via Women and Hollywood)

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  • Kai
  • Scott Mendelson

    Except Michael Bay didn’t fire Megan Fox, Steven Spielberg did.  I’d bet Mr. Dowd would be a lot less forthcoming if he was put in the position of trashing Mr. Spielberg in order to (rightfully) defend Ms. Fox.

  • Anonymous


    Also, Fox went further than calling Bay an asshole – she compared him to Hitler. Now, Bay may be a shitty person, but comparing him to Hitler goes way, way too far. Bay took it in stride, but when Spielberg got wind of it, he had to fire Fox.

    There is a sexist component in the way Fox’s sudden removal from the cast was worked into the third film, in that they couldn’t even be bothered to rewrite the Fox’s role properly for HW and left a message that women are replaceable. But Fox getting fired is not sexism until someone can point out a guy who called Bay Hitler and wasn’t fired. 

  • Keith Whitby

    steven speilberg has stated in an interview that michael bay lied when he said that he told him to fire her 

    obviously this was only reported by a few sites unlike the hundreds that reported the intial lie 

    imo bay is a scumbag 

  • Scott Mendelson

    I never saw that, thanks… 

  • Scott Mendelson

    I expounded on this quite a bit when it happened*.   
    “Michael Bay is indeed a tyrant on a film shoot. He’s pretty proud of this fact and anyone who walks onto his sets unaware has only themselves to blame (same goes for Michael Mann and James Cameron). Her comments comparing him to Hitler were misguided, but only because the proper comparison would have been Joseph Stalin (IE – he basically works you to death while shooting the film). Anyone who honestly thought that Fox was comparing Michael Bay’s direction of Transformers to Adolf Hitler’s actions as head of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s is intentionally deluding themselves to justify their own inexplicable hatred of either Fox or Bay.”

  • Anonymous

    Hmm, not sure from what angle you gave me this quote/link, but let me clarify what I think it is a response to.

    If only half of what I’ve read and seen about and from Bay, I have nothing to excuse for when I say he is a terrible man. But he’s not Hitler or Stalin, and any such comparison is at the cost of the acknowledgement of the destruction they have caused. I find these kind of comparisons a sign of weakness and egoism – a quick and easy way to demonize people whose asshattery isn’t and never will be of the level or influence suggested in the comparison. No matter how justifiedly negative one’s opinion of another, one should maintain a level of decency towards the matter as far as possible. 

    I don’t watch many Hollywood films –  I find they bore and anger me, often at the same time. I have read interviews of and information on Fox. If I recall correctly, I did that because I tried to find out what the photo of her and the boy with the rose was about. I find Fox, as far as I know about her, to have a charming personality. She strikes me as someone for whom the ins and outs of image management are a long way from being clear, and it makes her appear sincere and even somewhat adorable to me. I don’t hate her and belief she should get a chance at something better than orders to curve her back a little more. However, all that doesn’t excuse the comparison.

    I don’t know if Fox has been disproportionately punished for her words, particularly compared to (male) colleagues. If anyone else said Bay was like a historical or current dictator and they weren’t fired, then that’s disgusting. But it doesn’t excuse Fox’s case.