Megan Fox developed a skin allergy during a promotional visit to Beijing for the Chinese launch of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which prevented her from attending the film’s premiere, although her people insisted her allergy was not caused by terrible pollution in Beijing.
Fox joined fellow castmember William Fichtner, producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form and Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore at a press conference in the Shangri-La hotel in Beijing early on Sunday.
At the news conference, she spoke of how when she opened the windows of her hotel, she was able to see how beautiful Beijing was.
She then didn’t show up for the premiere later, and Chinese media and the Internet were abuzz with rumors she had developed a skin allergy from the pollution and had to cancel. Chinese actress Fan Bingbing attended the premiere instead. Fox had arrived in Beijing on Saturday, one of the most heavily polluted days of the year, when the Chinese capital was shrouded in vile smog.
“She had an allergic reaction but not because of the pollution,” a spokeswoman for the actress told The Hollywood Reporter.
In Beijing, people read their pollution index app the way other people check their watches or temperature gauges.
On Saturday, the CN Air Quality Index app that gives a reading for pollution was more than 500, or “beyond index,” in its reading for the most dangerous PM 2.5 particles. The concentration was more than 20 times higher than the 25 recommended for 24-hour exposure by the World Health Organization.
By Sunday, the pollution had cleared up, though. Fox’s schedule for Monday was reportedly canceled, although later sources said she was due to visit the Great Wall of China during the day. The pollution reading on Monday was 95, which is a “good” rating.
“In just one day, the goddess was brought down by the pollution,” wrote one commentator on Sohu. China is the world’s biggest carbon emitter and is heavily reliant on coal as a power source, getting 65 percent of its energy that way.
Another online commentator wrote that even aliens would not invade during this kind of pollution.
“Poor her. We Chinese have been living in pollution long enough to not be affected by it,” they wrote on Sina.
Pollution is also causing headaches for international firms seeking to locate and retain staffers in Beijing. In a survey by the European Union Chamber of Commerce this year, 68 percent of firms said they had experienced problems attracting talent and 64 percent retaining talent.