Michael Bay BODY SHAMED This A-List Actress

Kate Beckinsale is a Hollywood actress best known for her roles in The Aviator, Serendipity, Van Helsing, and Whiteout. But it’s her work decades ago in the film Pearl Harbor that has gotten her in the news lately. She recently told reporters that director Michael Bay didn’t think she was pretty enough for the role alongside her male co-stars Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett.

In an interview with The Graham Norton Show Beckinsale spoke about her time filming the 2001 blockbuster,

“I don’t think I fit the type of actress Michael Bay had met before, I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren’t bigger than my head and I wasn’t blonde. I’d just had my daughter and had lost weight, but was told that if I got the part, I’d have to work out. And I just didn’t understand why a 1940s nurse would do that.”

Despite spending hundreds of hours and months shooting the film together Bay still didn’t have the nicest things to say about the brunette beauty. Beckinsale described his odd behavior while travelling to promote the movie,

“When we were promoting the film, Michael was asked why he had chosen Ben [Affleck] and Josh [Hartnett], and he said, ‘I have worked with Ben before and I love him, and Josh is so manly and a wonderful actor’, then  when he was asked about me, he’d say, ‘Kate wasn’t so attractive that she would alienate the female audience. He kept saying it everywhere we went, and we went to a lot of places.”

In 2001 Bay told Movieline

“I didn’t want someone who was too beautiful, women feel disturbed when they see someone’s too pretty. I’m not saying Kate’s not pretty. When you look at ‘Titanic,’ Kate Winslet is pretty, but not overwhelmingly beautiful. That makes it work better for women. Our Kate is very funny, could hang with the guys. She’s not so neurotic about everything, like some actresses. She was solid, and I think the three of them had some really nice chemistry.”

I personally take umbrage with that statement. When I see successful, beautiful women I try and take the opportunity to applaud and congratulate them. His comments play into the stereotype that women are catty, unsupportive witches who don’t look out for one another.

He penned an explanation on his personal website about the matter,

“Kate and I are friendly. She is a fantastic actress, very funny, witty lady, sassy, speaks her mind, and I truly respect her, spoke to Kate today and she felt she told a funny story. So I guess I was the ‘bad guy’ 16 years ago for suggesting a trainer because she just had her new beautiful baby girl—and she was about to enter into an intensive action movie. Note to reporters: 95 % of leads in movies have trainers and drink green juice!”


Bay’s sexism doesn’t seem to have inhibited his working relationship with Beckinsale. He certainly insinuates her statements were more in jest making light of the situation. While it may be nice that Beckinsale took the high rode she has definitely let the public know the blatant materialism, body shaming and vapid misogyny stills exists in the entertainment industry.

Here’s a gift for anyone who thinks Kate Beckinsale isn’t stunning

Featured image by jingdianmeinv via Flicker.  Available through Creative Commons Generic license 2.0

Olivia is a foreign English teacher in Seoul, South Korea. She's studied abroad in Morocco and Cuba and is a 2015 graduate of Saint Anselm College with a BA in International Relations and Economics. She enjoys writing part time on the side about politics, environmental issues, and travel.