On Tuesday, the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The next day, The Atlantic published a huge exposé on Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer, who has allegedly been having sex with underage boys for decades.
There have been rumors and allegations about Singer for years, and even lawsuits, but Singer has still maintained a career as an A-list director. The Atlantic report includes new stories from four more anonymous men, all of whom claim that Singer had sex with them when they were minors. It includes claims of rape. In a statement to Variety, Singer has called the Atlantic article a “homophobic smear piece.”
Singer didn’t direct all of Bohemian Rhapsody; during production, he was removed from the movie after multiple unexplained absences from the set. (Dexter Fletcher replaced him.) But Singer is still the movie’s credited director, and he worked with the surviving members of Queen, who served as creative and musical consultants on the movie.
This past week, Queen guitarist Brian May, in an Instagram comment, wrote something that looked a whole lot like he was supporting Singer. As the Mary Sue points out, May responded to an Instagram user who wrote, “You need to unfollow Bryan Singer after what he has done.” In response, May wrote, “You need to look after your own business and stop telling me what to do. And you need to learn to respect the fact that a man or woman is innocent until proven guilty.”
In case you were wondering how the people who fought to let Bryan Singer direct Bohemian Rhapsody felt about The Atlantic story. pic.twitter.com/GDC6co5l5e
— Kayleigh Donaldson (@Ceilidhann) January 24, 2019
Last night, May apologized for his Instagram post, writing, “I am mortified to discover the effect my words produced. I had no idea that saying someone was innocent until proven guilty could be interpreted as ‘defending’ Bryan Singer. I had absolutely no intention of doing that. I guess I must be naive, because also it had never occurred to me that ‘following’ a person on Instagram could be interpreted as approving of that person.” He also said that he has now unfollowed Singer.
View this post on Instagram
Dear Folks – I was shocked and saddened to realise what I had done by my hasty and inconsiderate IG reply to this lady yesterday. I’ve posted an apology to her in the ‘reply’ box, but it seems to have disappeared – so I’m going to try to repeat it here, to be clear. ———- Dear Sue, I’m so sorry that I responded to your post so snappily and inconsiderately. My response was a result of my perception that someone was telling me what to do. I now realise that I was completely wrong in thinking that. You were actually just trying to protect me, for which I thank you. I am mortified to discover the effect my words produced. I had no idea that saying someone was innocent until proven guilty could be interpreted as “defending“ Bryan Singer. I had absolutely no intention of doing that. I guess I must be naive, because also it had never occurred to me that ‘following’ a person on Instagram could be interpreted as approving of that person. The only reason I followed Bryan Singer was that we were working with him on a project. That situation came to an end when Mr Singer was removed during the shooting of the film, but I suppose unfollowing him never occurred to me as a necessity. Now, because of this misunderstanding, I have unfollowed. I’m so sorry. This must have caused you a lot of upset. I wish I could take the comment back, but all I can do is apologise, and hope that my apology will begin to make amends. Sadly, this is all very public, but since I snapped at you in public, it’s only fitting that I should apologise in public. I’m going to try to follow you so we can communicate privately if you want. With love – Bri. —— I should add that this is also a sincere apology to anyone else out there that I inadvertently offended. No such offence was intended and I will be more careful in future. Bri
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the GLAAD Media Awards have removed Bohemian Rhaposdy’s nominations after The Atlantic’s report about Singer. But at least thus far, the allegation do not appear to have impacted Singer’s career.
Before the Atlantic report came out, Singer had signed on to direct Red Sonja, a reboot of the 1985 fantasy film. And now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Singer will remain attached to the movie. In a statement, producer Avi Lerner says, “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.” Singer stands to make up to $10 million for the movie.