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Oscar Week: The issue with Bryan Singer
February 21, 2019
Bryan Singer has been directing full-length films since the early nineties and is relatively famous. The Usual Suspects (1995) and all of the X-Men films, save for X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and X-Men: First Class (2011), were directed by him. More recently, he has directed, or partially directed, Bohemian Rhapsody. Although successful, his career has always been plagued with sexual allegation lawsuits, mostly from minors. With the recent rise of the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up, it is odd that he gets any work at all, or how his name is never mentioned alongside the ultra-popular Bohemian Rhapsody (2018).
Sexual misconduct accusations have been thrown around to the nth degree lately. That has not been the case with Bryan Singer. The allegations against him started in 1997, and some of the alleged instances of misconduct and assault go back as far as the early nineties. To many, his pedophilic and sexual issues have been an open but hardly dealt with secret.
In 1997, he was accused of asking multiple minors to film a shower scene for the film Apt Pupil (1998) totally nude. The initial accuser was fourteen. The accuser’s claims were corroborated by sixteen and seventeen-year-old extras. The lawsuit that came from these allegations were dropped due to lack of evidence.
In 2014, model Michael Egan accused Singer of drugging and raping him in Hawaii in the late nineties. Egan claims he met the director at a party hosted by businessman Marc Collins-rector. Collins-rector is now a registered sex offender. Egan later withdrew the lawsuit.
In the same year, a suit was brought against Singer by an anonymous British man who claims Singer and Singer’s friend, Gary Goddard, sexually assaulted him. Author Bret Easton Ellis has stated that two of his former partners attended parties hosted by Singer and director Roland Emmerich that involved sex with underage boys.
The list continued in 2017 when Cesar Sanchez-Guzman accused Singer of raping him in 2003 when Sanchez-Guzman was only 17 years old. Around this time, Singer removed himself from the public eye. In 2019, The Atlantic published a report where four more men alleged that Singer had sexually assaulted them. Singer’s response was to call the journalists “homophobic.”
The last set of allegations are what got Singer pulled from his director’s chair on Bohemian Rhapsody. However, he still directed a large portion of the film. His name is still on the director’s spot, but that is not the issue here. His name is seldom uttered when the film is brought up, and it is as if he was never involved with the project. That is sickening. The film is nominated for best picture and has won many awards, but again, Singer is never really mentioned. The movie still has his fingers all over it, though, and there is no way to erase that.
Scrubbing his name from all promotional material is wrong, in the highest order. Doing so is what the #MeToo movement has been fighting against. While not as bad as the people that protected Weinstein, Singer is still being defended. He gets to see the film he directed perform amazingly well, while the studio that makes it avoids a PR disaster and the film makes money. It is dishonest and scummy. There is nothing wrong with liking the movie, either. It is up for best picture, despite its low score on Metacritic. It is bothersome that so many people will turn a blind eye to Singer’s sordid past but not so with others. With the #MeToo movement, there is no picking and choosing. It is either all okay, or none of it is okay.