Michael Bay is known for his big, loud action spectacles, but an appearance at CES 2014 in Las Vegas on Monday afternoon found the Transformers director awkwardly, uncomfortably quiet.
While participating in a Samsung news conference to hype the company's new curved 4K TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show, Bay was rattled by a teleprompter glitch, then flubbed his lines and walked off stage.
Bay was initially brought up with Transformers footage playing and said, "My job as a director is I get to dream for a living." He added, "I create visual worlds that are so beyond everyone's normal life experiences, and Hollywood is a place that creates a viewer escape, and what I try to do as a director is I try to ..."
He trailed off and let out a sigh, then groused, "The type is all off. Sorry, but I'll just wing this." Attempting to gather himself, he said, "I try to take people on an emotional ride, and ..." only to trail off again.
Samsung executive Joe Stinziano attempted to salvage the presentation, asking a visibly agitated Bay how the new TVs might affect the way viewers experience the director's movies. "Excuse me, I'm sorry," Bay said before walking off in silence.
Shortly after the incident, Bay released a statement on his website. "Wow! I just embarrassed myself at CES," the statement reads. "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."
He added that he was doing a "special curved screen experience with Samsung and Transformers 4 footage that will travel the world.
Bay's meltdown, which became the most talked-about moment yet at the consumer electronics show, was just the latest social media headache for Samsung.
On Sunday night, a reporter tweeted a photo from a Samsung reception that showed the company's rain machine misspelling the word "experience" – the falling water instead spelled "experiece".
The image was retweeted more than 350 times, with people making cracks about the missing N. "LEAVE SAMSUG ALOE", one person tweeted.
Samsung has not responded to requests for comment.
The snafu marks the second odd incident for Bay in recent months. Back in October, a man attacked the director with an air conditioner on the Hong Kong set of the fourth Transformers film. The assailant swung the device at Bay's head, but Bay ducked and wrested it away, avoiding injury.
Hopefully, Bay's next big moment will go more smoothly. He may have a chance for redemption as soon as the upcoming Super Bowl, when a new Transformers spot could air.
Los Angeles Times