Hit & Run: Cunning like a Fox

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The Independent Online

High-profile spats are part of the Hollywood landscape, but rarely are we treated to a bust-up so gloriously bitchy as the one being fought by Megan Fox and Michael Bay. In one corner: a sultry starlet desperate to prove she's more than a pretty face. In the other: the big-budget blockbuster director who launched her career.

Round one came with a Fox interview in the British magazine, Wonderland. In it, the 23-year-old actress was asked what it was like to work with Bay, who directed her in the Transformers films. "God, I really wish I could go loose on this one," she replied. "He's like Napoleon and he wants to create this insane, infamous mad-man reputation. He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is. So he's a nightmare to work for."

Cue the backlash. In a withering open letter to "all Bay fans", three of the director's crew said they had had "the tedious experience of working with the dumb-as-a-rock Megan Fox on both Transformers movies . . . Megan is the queen of talking trailer trash and posing like a porn star . . . so maybe, being a porn star in the future might be a good career option." The anonymous take-down goes on to accuse "Ms Sour Pants" of not knowing who Hitler is and of responding to a proposed tour of Giza in a break on location with: "I can't believe Michael is fucking forcing us to go to the fucking pyramids!" It concludes: "Megan really is a thankless, classless, graceless, and . . . unfriendly bitch."

Ouch! At first Bay backed his lieutenants before removing their letter from his website, claiming no longer to "condone" it.He added, in a statement: "I still love working with her and I know we still get along. I even expect more crazy quotes from her on Transformers 3."

Which begs the question: is this all just an elaborate PR ruse? Certainly Fox needs to shrug the "hottie-with-a-gun" tag if she wants to follow Angelina "Tombraider" Jolie into Hollywood respectability. At the end of the month, she will host the season première of Saturday Night Live, and, guess what? Scriptwriters are reportedly working the Fox-Bay battle into a sketch in which the director may also appear. If this is a war of words then, "dumb-as-a-rock" or not, Fox is no loser. Simon Usborne

Marcus the Sheep, RIP

But a question remains: how should children treat livestock destined for their lunchtime shepherd's pie? Should one teach that sheep and pigs are simply walking, bleating packages of meat – or allow youngsters to form attachments? There seems to be a division of opinion among animal rights groups.

"Learning about rearing, transporting and slaughtering animals is important in children's education," says Julia Wrathall, head of the RSPCA's farm animal science department. "But it is important to explain how farm animals are different to pets. In the past, when many people were involved in farming, these processes were part of everyday life. Now, we need to be taught it." But Compassion in World Farming has a more emotive view. "I'd question whether the killing of a lamb is appropriate to teach at such a young age," argues Phil Brooke, the organisation's welfare and education development manager. "We devalue the notion that lambs are sentient beings – that feel pain and happiness – by teaching children animals are 'just meat'." So, feel free to give the creatures a cuddle: just don't get on first-name terms. Rob Sharp

Thighly unlikely to be at fashion week

They once encased the legs of Kate Moss but the sheepskin boot is over in fashion. Comfortable, yes. Cool, no. But Australia Luxe Collective have launched this catwalk-savvy pair: the thigh-high, a snip at £280. They'd be Thuggs, if branding allowed it. True, it isn't as bad as Cruggs, when Crocs met Uggs for truly orthopaedic chic. But there were extra-long gauntlet gloves in the autumn collections too – will Marigold will flog us an elbow-length, flock-lined pair? Ugg boots, know your place: to be worn in front of the telly, not on the front row. Harriet Walker