Entertainment & Arts

Bohemian Rhapsody excluded from Glaad LGBT awards over Bryan Singer allegations

Rami Malek and Gwilym Lee Image copyright Alex Bailey
Image caption The film stars Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury and Gwilym Lee as Brian May

Bohemian Rhapsody has been removed as a nominee for a major LGBT award show, following new accusations of sexual assault against director Bryan Singer.

The allegations were the result of a year-long investigation by US magazine The Atlantic, and included claims that the director had sex with underage men.

He denies the allegations, saying they are a "homophobic slur" against him.

But Glaad said it would not honour his latest film, saying "survivors of sexual assault should be put first".

Singer, whose previous credits include The Usual Suspects and X-Men, was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody three weeks before filming ended, amid reports of erratic behaviour and personality clashes with the star, Rami Malek.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Singer oversaw the launch of the X-Men franchise, which kick-started the boom in superhero movies

British director Dexter Fletcher was brought in to complete the project, but in accordance with Director's Guild rules, Singer's name remained on the film's credits.

Glaad said in a statement: "This week's story in The Atlantic documenting unspeakable harms endured by young men and teenage boys brought to light a reality that cannot be ignored or even tacitly rewarded.

"Singer's response to The Atlantic story wrongfully used 'homophobia' to deflect from sexual assault allegations and Glaad urges the media and the industry at large to not gloss over the fact that survivors of sexual assault should be put first."

Glaad is a media monitoring organisation which hands out awards each year to recognise outstanding representations of the LGBT community in the media.

'Innocent until proven otherwise'

It described the decision to remove Bohemian Rhapsody as a "difficult" one, adding: "The legacy of Freddy Mercury deserves so much more than to be tainted in this way".

The film was nominated for five Oscars earlier this week, although Singer failed to make the best director shortlist.

The 53-year-old was dropped by his agency last year, but was recently hired to direct an adaptation of the cult comic Red Sonja.

Producers have confirmed he will keep the job despite the latest allegations.

"The over $800m Bohemian Rhapsody has grossed... is testament to his remarkable vision and acumen," said Millennium Films' boss Avi Lerner told The Hollywood Reporter.

"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."

Millennium Films was itself hit with allegations of sexual harassment and gender bias, with Lerner accused of making disparaging remarks towards female employees.

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