If you’re not familiar with the recent controversy surrounding Transformers: The Last Knight, let me bring you up to speed: a few days ago, The Sun released photos of Winston Churchill’s estate draped in Nazi flags and littered with extras in Nazi uniforms. For American audiences, this was nothing more than another bizarre choice for an increasingly convoluted movie. For British audiences, however, this was a slap in the face of one of their most beloved figures and one of the darkest times in their country’s modern history.

With so many people expressing outrage at the production, it was only a matter of time before someone involved with the film would need to acknowledge the controversy publicly. As it turns out, director Michael Bay himself spoke to the BBC (via HitFix) about the role Winston Churchill’s home plays in his movie and why audiences should wait until they’ve seen the movie to judge:

There’s a thing I saw in the paper today about Blenheim and I just want to say people were not fortunate enough to read the script and they don’t know that Churchill in this movie is a big hero. And Churchill would be smiling about last night.

Bay later pointed to his many movies shot with the support of the American armed forces as proof that he has only the best intentions in mind:

Well, when you see the movie you’ll understand and I’m for one, probably more than any director in the world, shot more veterans and more active military men and women in my movies. And you can actually look it up. OK? I would do nothing to disrespect veterans.

Given the current political landscape, it’s probably not Bay’s wisest decision to use the hyperbolic “I’m probably the most patriotic director ever!” defense against his detractors. That being said, as we noted in a previous article, the fact that Bay seems to be shooting scenes involving both Winston Churchill and King Arthur suggests that there will be an element of alternate history at play in Transformer: The Last Knight. Odds are good that the movie, as Bay says, will reinforce the important role that Churchill played in the history of the world.

If this is a simple throwaway sequence for a time travel montage, wouldn’t it have been cheaper and less controversial to do the effect with CGI? I guess nobody tells Michael Bay to stick to a budget. With an expected release date of June 23, 2017, we’ve only got a few more months before we can get an early look at the kind of Frankenstein time travel-robot-military movie Bay and his team have concocted.