The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) announced yesterday it was suspending its nomination for director Bryan Singer.
The BAFTA awards are the UK’s most high-profile movie awards. The ceremony takes place this Sunday at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Bohemian Rhapsody, about the life of Freddie Mercury and rock band Queen, received nominations in seven categories.
One category is Outstanding British Film. Singer was a named nominee, alongside producer Graham King and writer Anthony McCarten.
The film has wowed audiences around the world and proved a huge box office hit. Although critics gave it a lukewarm reception, award nominations have also flown its way. It won a Golden Globe in January for Best Motion Picture.
However, in the same week it was announced it was receiving five Oscar nominations, The Atlantic published a lengthy expose of sexual misconduct allegations against the movie’s gay director, Bryan Singer.
‘BAFTA considers the alleged behaviour completely unacceptable’
In a statement released yesterday, BAFTA said: ‘In light of recent very serious allegations, BAFTA has informed Bryan Singer that his nomination for Bohemian Rhapsody has been suspended, effective immediately.
‘BAFTA considers the alleged behaviour completely unacceptable and incompatible with its values. This has led to Mr Singer’s suspended nomination. BAFTA notes Mr Singer’s denial of the allegations. The suspension of his nomination will therefore remain in place until the outcome of the allegations has been resolved.
‘For the avoidance of doubt, Bohemian Rhapsody remains nominated in the Outstanding British Film category, and the other individuals named as candidates in respect of the film remain nominees.
‘BAFTA believes everyone has the right to a fulfilling career in a safe, professional working environment, and it will continue to collaborate with the film, games and television industries to achieve this.’
Singer, 53, has been dogged by rumors of sexual misconduct over a number of years. These have begun to gain traction since the #MeToo movement following the revelations around former Miramax boss, Harvey Weinstein.
The Atlantic article detailed the experiences of four men who came forward for the first time to make allegations. Singer has denied the allegations, and dismissed the reporting as a ‘homophobic smear’.
Film studio Twentieth Century Fox fired Singer from Bohemian Rhapsody three weeks before the end of principal filming wrapped. British director Dexter Fletcher replaced him. An insider told the BBC the dismissal was due to ‘unreliable behaviour on the set.’ Singer said he’d been ill and had to take days off work, which he claimed the studio would not accommodate.
BAFTA’s decision follows a similar decision taken by US LGBTI advocacy group GLAAD to also drop Singer from its annual award nominees.