Samsung’s latest high-profile and no doubt costly publicity stunt violently backfired at CES 2014, as a bumbling Michael Bay ran off the Vegas stage in the middle of a not so carefully prepared speech as he was trying to praise a new curved 4K HD TV.
The embarrassing meltdown, caught on camera by numerous media outlets, quickly made the rounds on the most popular social networking websites, attracting empathy and compassion, but primarily rage and animosity.
On the one hand, you have to be pretty inhumane to not feel a little sorry for the guy when seeing him sweat his… derriere off as he realizes the teleprompter has gone nuts, and then attempting and failing at “winging” it. Besides, Bay earns his bread behind the camera, so maybe he has an excuse for not being a strong public speaker.
Also, let’s step into the director and producer’s shoes for a minute and think about what we’d have done in the same position. Faced with hundreds of strangers, camera flashes and so on, I’m guessing we’d stumble and falter in a similar fashion, ultimately abandoning the whole thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not playing devil’s advocate here. Regardless of explanations and excuses, Bay made a fool of himself. If I may add, not unlike when rolling out “Transformers 3”. Or 2. Or “Pain and Gain”. Or “Pearl Harbor”, “Bad Boys 2” and “The Island”.
And that’s exactly why so many people jumped at the filmmaker’s throat. If it was, say, James Cameron or Quentin Tarantino, we’d still have laughed, no question about it, but the compassion would have overwhelmed the hate.
Also, it’s no secret Michael Bay is sort of a douche unlikeable character, aside from a crappy director, which he once again confirmed with a faux “apology” posted on his blog:
“Wow! I just embarrassed myself at CES – I was about to speak for Samsung for this awesome Curved 105-inch UHD TV. I rarely lend my name to any products, but this one is just stellar. I got so excited to talk, that I skipped over the Exec VP’s intro line and then the teleprompter got lost. Then the prompter went up and down – then I walked off. I guess live shows aren’t my thing.
But I’m doing a special curved screen experience with Samsung and Transformers 4 footage that will be traveling around the world.”
Weird how the words “sorry” or “I apologize” don’t come up, eh? And to think Sammy probably loaded the guy up with cash, only to see their big product intro sidetracked by the snafu. By the by, does anyone have any idea exactly what TV Bay was supposed to promote?