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Thoughts on Bryan Singer’s Latest Sexual Abuse Allegations

January 26, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
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If you’ve taken the time to read The Atlantic’s piece on director Bryan Singer entitled ‘Nobody Is Going to Believe You’, you’ll join me in being a bit surprised that he’s still a player on the Hollywood scene.

Then again, this is Hollywood we’re talking about. They have a history of being selective on who they protect and who they punish.

Singer has been tagged by accusations of sexual misconduct for 20 years and the article interviews some of his alleged victims, sharing graphic details and evidence. Four men accuse the director of having sex with them when they were younger than the age of consent.

Even with the current climate, it makes you wonder how Singer is able to hold onto his Red Sonja directing job; for which Singer is being paid a fee of up to $10 million by Millennium Films.

“I continue to be in development for Red Sonja and Bryan Singer continues to be attached,” read a statement from producer Avi Lerner to The Hollywood Reporter.

Lerner goes on, “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 otherwise.”

That line of thinking works in the courtroom but in the court of public opinion, it’s not that easy.

After Harvey Weinstein, it’s a different ballgame. Singer’s reputation might have been overlooked because of the onslaught of other actors, directors, and studio execs falling to accusations but The Atlantic makes a serious case against Singer.

The articles authors, Alex French and Maximillian Potter (Really cool name!), spent 12 months looking into Singer, originally doing the piece for Esquire. In an interesting note, the two writers claim the story was killed by Hearst executives.

French and Maximillian talked to more than 50 sources, including Victor Valdovinos, the accuser to use his name. Valdovinos told The Atlantic that he was a 13-year-old extra on the set of Apt Pupil when Singer, who was in his 30s at the time, sexually assaulted him. Apt Pupil had a number of lawsuits by underage extras who were forced to disrobe entirely for a shower scene.

Singer was accused of rape by Cesar Sanchez-Guzman in 2017. Sanchez-Guzman said in the lawsuit that Singer raped him while aboard a yacht in Seattle in 2003, when he was 17. Singer denied the allegations and Sanchez-Guzman did an interview saying, “the industry will brush things under the rug and pretend nothing happened.”

Outside the allegations, Singer made headlines while filming Bohemian Rhapsody, leaving the set for extended periods,acting erratic, and finally was replaced Dexter Fletcher. Singer is still credited as sole director of the film due to DGA rules.

Bohemian Rhapsody went on to make $800 million at the box office and receive five Academy Award nominations.

For his part, Singer released a statement in regards to The Atlantic article. “The last time I posted about this subject, Esquire magazine was preparing to publish an article written by a homophobic journalist who has a bizarre obsession with me dating back to 1997. After careful fact-checking and, in consideration of the lack of credible sources, Esquire chose not to publish this piece of vendetta journalism,” Singer stated.

Singer went on to say, “That didn’t stop this writer from selling it to The Atlantic. It’s sad that The Atlantic would stoop to this low standard of journalistic integrity. Again, I am forced to reiterate that this story rehashes claims from bogus lawsuits filed by a disreputable cast of individuals willing to lie for money or attention. And it is no surprise that, with Bohemian Rhapsody being an award-winning hit, this homophobic smear piece has been conveniently timed to take advantage of its success.”

We’ve seen people accused of less pay more in terms of losing their career. What’s the difference between Singer and say…Kevin Spacey? How come Woody Allen is still working? Is Dustin Hoffman on the good list or bad list? Like Weinstein, Singer’s reputation has been whispered about for years. Yet he’s being hailed as a visionary and given a pass because his movies make money.

Hollywood is doing itself no favors by being selective on who it persecutes and holds accountable. The time has passed for an overhaul, and I’m talking one giant one, not a couple minor tweaks here and there.

What are your thoughts on Bryan Singer’s latest controversy?

article topics :

Bryan Singer, Steve Gustafson