Last week, The Atlantic finally dropped the long-overdue Bryan Singer exposé on his decades of alleged rape that was supposed to appear in Esquire but was quietly shelved by Hearst executives after it was already approved for publishing. I’m talking the piece made it past fact-checking and legal and was all set to publish until somebody pulled the plug. That’s what we call in the business some f*cking bullshit.
But because Hollywood is a horrifying hellhole, the exposé practically bounced right off of Singer as Bohemian Rhapsody continued to plow through the awards circuit. And to put a finer point on that depressing fact, barely 24 hours after The Atlantic hit publish, Millennium Films made it very clear that Singer will not be fired from Red Sonja. CEO Avi Lerner even went so far as to call the allegations “fake news,” which is a phrase that innocent people use all of the time because obviously they’re so innocent. Did you not hear them say the news is fake?
Unsurprisingly, Lerner is facing a goddamn smorgasbord of harassment allegations himself. But to prove he’s not a total monster, he’d now like to “clarify” his original statement on Bryan Singer, which he claims he never read. This should be good.
On Jan. 24, Millennium Films CEO Avi Lerner was driving from Las Vegas to Los Angeles when crisis PR guru Howard Bragman sent him a statement to sign off on regarding the controversial move to allow Bryan Singer to keep his job as the director of the studio’s Red Sonja.
Bragman has been working for both Singer and Millennium in the wake of explosive allegations published in The Atlantic that Singer had raped teen boys. Lerner, 71, says he OK’d the statement without reading it and now tells The Hollywood Reporter that it “came out the wrong way” when he called the Atlantic story “agenda driven fake news” while citing the $800 million-and-counting box office haul for Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody and adding, “I am very comfortable with this decision.”
Okay, so let’s be morons for a second and hear Lerner out. Surely, if the statement he didn’t bother to read “came out the wrong way,” his own words will be much better and not literally the same exact thing.
As for Singer, Lerner insists that he is conducting his own investigation into the claims, which date back decades. “I have got a reason why I doubt that he has done it,” he says, though he wouldn’t elaborate. Millennium co-president Jonathan Yunger is close friends with Singer outside of work and is vouching for the director’s behavior over the past 10 years.
Though Lerner admits his earlier Singer statement was mishandled, he isn’t backing down either. “I don’t want to apologize. I just want to clarify [the statement],” Lerner says, noting that English is his second language. “I think victims should be heard and this allegation should be taken very, very seriously. I just don’t agree to judge by the Twitter. I want [the accused] to be judged by the court.”
Holy shit, his own words were worse and doubled down on the original statement. Who saw that coming?
More importantly, here’s a little nugget from THR’s report that caught my eye and really puts the whole Singer thing in perspective. It practically explains it all.
THR reached out to a wide swath of representatives, producers and talent to gauge if Millennium would suffer any consequences for keeping Singer in the Red Sonja fold. No one wanted to be quoted. But even with the veil of anonymity, no one said he or she would stop working with Lerner.
Yup. There’s your problem right there.
Fortunately, not everyone in Hollywood is sitting on their hands — just 99 percent of them — and all-around badasses like Ellen Barkin and Thandie Newton are not being quiet.
if hollywood doesn’t keep bryan singer employed, bryan singer just might reveal his guest list https://t.co/5fZyG2Amj1— Ellen Barkin (@EllenBarkin) January 28, 2019
In the meantime, did you enjoy the new Hellboy trailer? It’s made by Millennium Films, so maybe keep that in mind before you pay money to see it. Just throwing that out there.
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