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Transformers director Michael Bay explains his abrupt onstage meltdown

Hollywood director Michael Bay speaks during a Samsung Electronics news conference during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 6, 2014.

STEVE MARCUS/REUTERS

Just as the evil alien machines get blamed for rampant destruction in every Transformers movie, Michael Bay is crediting his onstage meltdown at a public event to a technical malfunction.

MTV News reports that the Hollywood director has put the blame for his now-infamous onstage meltdown at the Consumers Electronics Show last weekend on a defenseless teleprompter.

As reported on countless media outlets, Bay was at the CES show in Las Vegas to take part in a launch event for Samsung's new UHD curved-television display TV.

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According to most reports, Bay was holding his own in extolling the virtues of the new Samsung product, with assistance from Samsung executive Joe Stinziano, when something appeared to go wrong.

CES attendees at the Samsung event claim Bay suddenly resembled the proverbial deer in the headlights. To his credit, Stinziano attempted to get the presentation back on track by asking the director how the new TV technology would affect "how viewers experience your movies."

To which Bay replied: "Excuse me, I'm sorry." And then he exited the stage posthaste.

Not surprisingly, news of Bay's hasty exit spread like wildfire through the CES show and, naturally, the Internet.

Within hours, the Bay-walkoff was trending on Twitter, which naturally elicited comments relating to the 48-year-old director's proclivity for alternately cranking out either low-concept mega-hits (Transformers, Bad Boys) or colossal box-office flops (Pearl Harbor, The Island).

Which was clearly evinced in this observation from Kjartan Slette (@globalmusicman): "Michael Bay has never been very good with scripts or storytelling."

Or this tweet from CoreDuo (@CoreDuo08): "The incident with Michael Bay during Samsung's CES keynote may have been the first time having no script was a problem for him."

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Toward the cause of damage control, Bay went onto his official website to post the following mea culpa.

"Wow! I just embarrassed myself at CES," he wrote. "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."

Product pitch over, Bay got right into his stage freeze: "I got so excited to talk, that I skipped over the Exec VP's intro line and then the teleprompter got lost. Then the teleprompter went up and down – then I walked off. I guess live shows aren't my thing."

And although Bay didn't exactly apologize for his abrupt stage departure, he somehow managed to simultaneously remain in Samsung's good graces while working in a plug for his upcoming feature Transformers 4: Age of Extinction, which lands in theatres this summer.

"I'm doing a special curved screen experience with Samsung and Transformers 4 footage that will be travelling around the world," he teased on his website.

Michael Bay may not be much of a public speaker, but he's one heck of a salesman.

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