The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced they will withdraw Bryan Singer's name from the Best Director category. Singer was initially nominated for directing Bohemian Rhapsody when the BAFTA nominees were announced in early January.
However, given the controversy surrounding the director, the independent charity revised their stance, stating that "in light of recent very serious allegations, BAFTA has informed Bryan Singer that his nomination for Bohemian Rhapsody has been suspended, effective immediately."
A recent article by The Atlantic has brought to light new allegations about Singer's decade-spanning history of sexual misconduct with minors. The report, consisting of over 50 sources collected over a 12 month period, covers a wide spectrum of accusations.The BAFTA statement singles out these allegations as the primary reason for Singer's disqualification from the awards category.
"BAFTA considers the alleged behavior completely unacceptable and incompatible with its values," the statement reads. "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."
This would have been Singer's first BAFTA Best Director nomination. His 1996 film, The Usual Suspects, was nominated for Best Film and won for Best Original Screenplay, but Singer was not nominated for directing.
Although Bryan Singer is no longer being acknowledged by the BAFTAs, Rhapsody producer Graham King and writer Anthony McCarten are still in the running. The film itself is also nominated for Outstanding British Film, in competition against Beast, The Favourite, McQueen, Stan & Ollie and You Were Never Really Here. There were no acknowledgments for Dexter Fletcher, who replaced Singer as director on the film and finished out the remaining several weeks of shooting. Bohemian Rhapsody is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and Lead Actor, but not for Best Director.
When asked about his experiences on set with Singer, lead actor Rami Malek, who won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Queen singer Freddy Mercury, said that working with the director was "not pleasant," and that Singer's firing from the 2018 biopic "had to happen and it did."
Bryan Singer has denied the sexual misconduct allegations and denounced the Atlantic article. In his statement, Singer made additional reference to a previous article that was published by the magazine Esquire that also made accusations against the director regarding inappropriate sexual behavior.
Currently, Bryan Singer is still listed as being director for the action-adventure film Red Sonja, a reboot of the 1985 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brigitte Nielsen.