In Defense of Megan Fox: Why the "Stupid Actress" Story Needs to Go

Apparently, Megan Fox is stupid. I wouldn't know personally -- I've never seen her do an IQ test or crash a Mensa meeting. But oodles of news articles are more than happy to tell me how skull-crushingly dense she is. "She may be a movie beauty, but is Megan Fox the dumbest star ever?" screams a Daily Mail headline. "Megan Fox says 'very ridiculous things'" reads a Wall Street Journal subhed. "Fox Puts Foot in Mouth, Again," blasts ABC News.

So what heinously thick comments has this 23-year-old embodiment of male fantasies made? Well, let's see. A few weeks ago, she stirred up a fracas by telling Entertainment Weekly that "working with Michael Bay is not about an acting experience."

In other words, someone who has worked with him on two films thinks the director whose biggest credits include The Rock, Armageddon and Bad Boys II doesn't focus on raw thespian power to drive his films. So, uh, this is stupid?

Well, yes, if you place it in the context that the mainstream media (and therefore, the public) is creating: Big-money directors like Bay can (and did) pluck actresses like Fox from sitcom obscurity, outfit them in booty shorts, and cast them in mega-action flicks to ensure that every inch of the male demographic drools its way into theaters. For this, the actresses must be forever grateful, never uttering a word of rebuke, a complaint or, God forbid, an honest opinion. It's a lesson Katherine Heigl learned well after she received a royal reaming for stating that Knocked Up, her breakthrough movie, was "a little sexist." Which is stupid only insofar as it's a bit like calling Ron Paul's appearance in Bruno "a little homophobic." (Seriously, Apatow -- your main female character has no clue who Doc Brown is? Do ovaries somehow rob you of the ability to get a joke?)

But back to Fox. Also among her list of alleged idiocies, via Daily Mail:

  • Calling for the legalization of pot. Wow -- so by that logic, Carlos Santana and Carl Sagan must be morons as well.
  • Telling FHM last year: "I really enjoy having sex, and that's offensive to some people. Women are the quickest to call other women slags, which is sad." Which could be lifted from just about any first-person article ever published in Cosmo.
  • Saying of her "Brian" tattoo, dedicated to ex-boyfriend Brian Austin Green: "I wouldn't regret the tattoo if we weren't together. I can always have a kid and name him Brian. There are options." So, uh, has anyone at the Mail ever heard of intentional irony? Or considered the possibility that maybe, just maybe, a walking archetype of male desire could be making a joke?

Meanwhile, Fox has held her own in nonstop interviews, deftly navigated away from potential PR gaffes, and even managed a subtle jab or two at Bay. All while countless Web sites (this one included) have racked up pageviews by posting pictures of her libido-pumping bod while simultaneously trumpeting her stupidity.

As for those flatulence comments in GQ earlier this year -- well, who among us doesn't have a litany of moronic things we said when we were 22? My list is long and distinguished. And if you don't get that reference, maybe you're as stupid as Megan Fox.