This week’s sexual abuse allegations against “Bohemian Rhapsody” director Bryan Singer had additional repercussions Thursday, as the film, a Golden Globes winner and Oscar nominee, was removed from consideration for the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards.
The unusual move came a day after four men accused Singer of sexual misconduct in a story in The Atlantic. Two of the men say they were underage at the time of the incidents. Singer has disputed the allegations, saying that the story was written by “a homophobic journalist.”
“Rhapsody” celebrates Queen singer Freddie Mercury, a man GLAAD describes as an “LGBTQ icon.”
GLAAD issued an extensive statement Thursday, one day before releasing its award nominations, explaining the decision to disqualify “Rhapsody.” (The film has received a best-picture Oscar nomination and Rami Malek, who plays Mercury, is in the running for best actor.)
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“In light of the latest allegations against director Bryan Singer, GLAAD has made the difficult decision to remove ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ from contention for a GLAAD Media Award in the Outstanding Film – Wide Release category this year. This week’s story in The Atlantic documenting unspeakable harms endured by young men and teenage boys brought to light a reality that cannot be ignored or even tacitly rewarded.”
Time’s Up, an organization committed to safe and fair workplaces, also issued a statement, saying the accusations against Singer are “horrifying” and should be investigated.
At the same time, Millennium Films Thursday said it is moving ahead with a remake of fantasy adventure “Red Sonja” with Singer as director, according to the Associated Press.
Millennium founder Avi Lerner issued a statement supporting Singer: “The over $800 million ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has grossed, making it the highest grossing drama in film history, is testament to his remarkable vision and acumen. I know the difference between agenda-driven fake news and reality, and I am very comfortable with this decision. In America people are innocent until proven guilty.”
The GLAAD statement, which makes a point of saying sexual assault survivors should be put first, also chided Singer for his response to the story’s allegations, saying he “wrongfully used ‘homophobia’ to deflect from sexual assault allegations.”
GLAAD regrets that others who worked so hard on “Rhapsody” and Mercury’s legacy itself could be tainted by the matter involving Singer.
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“‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ brought the story of LGBTQ icon Freddy (sic) Mercury to audiences around the world, many of whom never saw an out and proud lead character in a film or saw the impact of HIV and AIDS in fair and accurate ways,” the statement says. “The impact of the film is undeniable. We believe, however, that we must send a clear and unequivocal message to LGBTQ youth and all survivors of sexual assault that GLAAD and our community will stand with survivors and will not be silent when it comes to protecting them from those who would do them harm.”
Contributing: Associated Press