Bohemian Rhapsody was nominated for seven BAFTAs this year, and walked home with two, including Best Actor for Rami Malek. One award it didn’t win was Outstanding British Film, although many had predicted it would, particularly after director Bryan Singer’s name was removed from said nomination. For those of you who need a reminder, Singer was fired from the movie for extreme unprofessional behaviour and non-attendance to set. All of this coincided with the beginnings of the #MeToo movement post-Weinstein, which inspired further talk of the two decades of sexual assault and rape accusations against underage boys that have been made against Singer. A piece published in January by The Atlantic further detailed these allegations.
Singer has been noticeably absent from the awards season for this film, but that hasn’t exactly made the issues of culpability surrounding his involvement with it in the first place go away. As detailed by The Atlantic, ‘Singer had the support of the surviving members of Queen’ to direct Bohemian Ehapsody, even though Fox had already removed him from promoting his most recent X-Men movie following a lawsuit made by an alleged victim. ‘The choice for Fox’, according to The Atlantic, ‘was to do the film with him or to not do it at all.’
Brian May, the guitarist for Queen, has been enjoying his victory lap this awards season, but now he’s been forced to directly talk about the Singer problem. He’s done so by claiming Singer isn’t the real director of the film. Bold strategy.
On the red carpet for the BAFTAs, May said, ‘It’s nothing to do with us. He hasn’t been the director for a long time. He was sacked for very good reason… not by us, by Fox so it’s a very arm’s-length thing for us. The only reason he’s on the movie is his guild forced Fox to do this… technically, really, he’s not the director of the movie. That’s just life.’
So, a reminder: The man who, according to the very well fact-checked piece in The Atlantic, was key in getting Singer hired for the job in the first place has now said it’s got nothing to do with him. He, the man who directed all but two weeks of the film and has sole directorial credit for it, wasn’t the director of the movie.
Remember how we called bullsh*t on Rami Malek’s claim that he didn’t know any of the allegations against Singer when he signed onto the movie? I’m calling the same bullsh*t here regarding May’s sudden ‘I know nothing’ act.
Also, remember this one, Brian? Because I certainly do.
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) 24 January 2019
Bohemian Rhapsody is already a historical insult against Freddie Mercury, a shameless PR homophobic whitewash of a complicated man’s legacy by an estate with gears to grind and egos to stroke. It would already have been a mess had an accused rapist not directed it, but all of this is just a flagrant reminder of how little some people care about doing the right thing because hey, money and glory and did you know Brian May’s an astrophysicist and the real hero of Queen?!
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