Michael Bay found himself in the headlines this week when a widely-circulated story in TheWrap alleged that a homing pigeon was killed by a dolly on the set of his film “6 Underground” in 2018. Bay vigorously denied the claim that he was facing charges for the alleged incident, saying in a statement that “no animal involved in the production was injured or harmed. Or on any other production I’ve worked on in the past 30 years.”
Now, Bay is threatening to take legal action against the publication. A new letter from Bay’s attorneys (first obtained by Variety) gives an even stronger denial of the story and calls for the story to be retracted.
“As you know, Mr. Bay was never accused, much less ‘charged,’ with ‘killing’ an animal,” the letter reads. “Indeed, prior to publication, you were placed on notice of the existence of video evidence rebutting these allegations and demonstrating that at no time was any animal harmed, let alone ‘killed.’ Further, as you also know (but failed to publish), the only ‘charge’ at issue in Italy concerns whether, in his capacity as the film’s director, Mr. Bay failed to properly supervise crew members (whom he did not even have the ability to hire) responsible for handling the animals on set. That charge is being vigorously defended — and indeed, Mr. Bay feels so strongly that, to his credit, he refused to settle the case even for the nominal fine that was proposed by authorities to resolve it.”
Bay’s attorney continued: “What makes your story all the more egregious is that you were expressly told, and you therefore knew, that the headline was false because Mr. Bay did not ‘kill’ an animal and he was charged with no such thing. You evidently also failed to adequately investigate the matter by obtaining the actual charge or interviewing authorities or others who could have provided the facts. Instead, you proceeded with your story, with a false and misleading ‘clickbait’ headline, demonstrating actual malice and reckless disregard of the truth.”
Finally, Bay’s team indicated that they will not be satisfied with anything less than an admission of wrongdoing by TheWrap.
“Given the above, and other facts and evidence, on behalf of Mr. Bay, we hereby demand an immediate retraction or correction of your story,” the letter concluded.