On January 23rd, “The Atlantic” published an exposé about film and television director Bryan Singer’s history of sexual assault allegations. The exposé detailed stories of trauma from his victims, many of whom were abused by Singer as young boys. The article was released at a particularly apt time — in the throes of awards season.
Bryan Singer is 53, openly bisexual and best known as the high-profile director of the “X-Men” films. He is also well-known in Hollywood as a rapist and sexual predator. In the article published by “The Atlantic,” there is a reference to this general knowledge from an unnamed high-profile actor who said, “After the Harvey Weinstein news came out, everyone thought Bryan Singer would be next.” The authors of the exposé in “The Atlantic,” Alex French and Maximillian Potter, interviewed a number of Singer’s male victims, most of whom had experienced assault by Singer as minors. Singer also had a history of substance abuse, and in the early 2000s was known to throw parties at his Hollywood mansion where alcohol, drugs and sex were around every corner. There were many underage boys there hoping to get their start in Hollywood by forging a connection with Singer. Instead, they were met with a man eager to take advantage of them.
It was no mistake that Singer waited his turn, despite the #MeToo movement having been in full swing for over a year now. He most recently directed the Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Lead Actor. It was assumed that the evidence of his misconduct would effectively ruin his awards season chances.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” has, however, still grossed almost $850 million worldwide and it won two Golden Globes last month. Singer, even after these allegations, still stands to make $40 million off the film, despite having been fired from the movie with only three weeks of filming left. This was due to “erratic behavior” and a failure to show up to work, as reported by a “Jezebel” article published in early February. When Rami Malek, lead actor of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” was asked about his thoughts regarding the allegations against Singer, he responded that he was unaware of Singer’s reputation because he had “had [his] head down preparing for [the role] for about a year ahead of time, and [he] never really looked up,” according to a report from “Page Six.” Malek did eventually amend his answer with his condolences for those affected by Singer’s actions and said that his own experience working with Singer as a director was “unpleasant.”
It is disheartening that Singer will still profit off his involvement in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but the bravery of the men that came forward with the truth about him is not to be discounted. It shows an extraordinary amount of strength to relive trauma for the world to see. Remember these victims while watching the Academy Awards on February 24th.