Before GLAAD announces its Media Awards nominations tomorrow morning, the organization has already disqualified Bohemian Rhapsody, a film it previously championed in its depiction of gay icon Freddie Mercury and his battle with AIDS, due to the latest Atlantic expose on the pic’s director Bryan Singer.
Singer has not been part of the marketing or press for Bohemian Rhapsody during its theatrical release and awards season run. What little promotion he had done has been on his Instagram account, and the pic’s entire team, including producer Graham King and star Rami Malek, have distanced themselves from the filmmaker during Bohemian Rhapsody‘s ascent this awards season which includes Golden Globe best picture drama and actor wins for Rami Malek and five Oscar noms including Best Picture and Actor. Fox has not released a statement in response to GLAAD’s actions. Variety was first up with GLAAD’s actions with Bohemian Rhapsody. Here is the statement, which misspelled Freddie Mercury’s name several times so might not be that big a fan of the late singer:
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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.
Singer’s response to The Atlantic story wrongfully used ‘homophobia’ to deflect from sexual assault allegations and GLAAD urges the media and the industry at large to not gloss over the fact that survivors of sexual assault should be put first.
The team that worked so hard on Bohemian Rhapsody as well as the legacy of Freddy(sic) Mercury deserve so much more than to be tainted in this way. 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 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.
Other films that involve Singer now or in the future should take note of the backlash to The Atlantic story and other previous allegations. The industry cannot let those who perpetuate harms against anyone – especially vulnerable young people – go unnoticed or unchecked any longer.
Millennium Films chief Avi Lerner told Deadline yesterday after The Atlantic article broke that he was sticking with the director, even after we noted that he might be hard pressed to find a female star to play the title character: “Until someone proves that he has done something wrong, he is staying on the movie. I’m not going to change my mind until I see proof. I’m not looking for a major actress to play this role and I already know it won’t be hard at all to cast. Bryan Singer is one of the most talented directors in the world, from his early movie The Usual Suspects to the latest one, Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Deadline reported yesterday that following The Atlantic‘s report that the filmmaker allegedly had sex with underage boys, Singer called the article “a homophobic smear piece has been conveniently timed to take advantage” of Bohemian Rhapsody’s success.
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