Last week, a strange, Mad Libs-y story appeared: TheWrap reported that Michael Bay had been charged with killing a pigeon. The alleged incident took place on the set of 6 Underground, his Netflix action movie from 2019 starring Ryan Reynolds. Now the action director is pushing back hard against the report, which his legal team calls “false, reckless, and defamatory.”
In a letter to TheWrap that was obtained by Variety, an attorney to the director of two Bad Boys films and five Transformers entries is demanding a retraction of the story, or at least the part about him being “charged.” A production insider told the publication that a homing pigeon had been killed by a dolly during a take. Pigeons are a protected species in Italy, one of the film’s locations, and since he was the director Bay was held responsible.
Bay’s lawyer, Matthew Rosengart, says he has not been “charged” with the crime and that a court case is still ongoing. “Those statements are simply wrong; they are also harmful,” Rosengart wrote. Bay has fought back against the allegations, even providing video evidence that purportedly debunks those claims.
What’s more, Bay is, as per Rosengart, an animal rights activist who even has as a dream project a film about saving African elephants. He’s thus none too pleased that his name is now associated with killing a pigeon. Bay even refused to settle the case because he didn’t want to have admitted to killing an animal.
Last year, Bay — whose bombastic blockbusters were once considered the scourge of cinema, at least with critics — scored the best reviews of his career with the nifty thriller Ambulance, even if he thought some of the CGI in it looks like “s*it.”