A petition to remove out director Bryan Singer's name from the Cinema Media Studies department at the University of Southern California due to unspecified "sexual misconduct" has garnered nearly 1,700 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.
Singer -- the director and producer of films like X-Men, The Usual Suspects, and Valkyrie -- is an alumnus of the USC film school and donated $5 million to the institution -- the same sum that the university rejected from Harvey Weinstein last month.
The Bryan Singer Division of Cinema & Media Studies "provides the kind of in-depth knowledge of media and entertainment that serves the media makers and scholars of tomorrow," according to its USC website.
"Despite Singer's philanthropic work for SCA, having his name attached to a division of the School of Cinematic Arts gives the impression that we, both as an institution and as members of the entertainment industry, value his financial contributions over the safety, respect and future of students," the petition reads. "By continuing to associate Mr. Singer's name with our university, USC is openly supporting a man who has been publicly accused of reprehensible sexual misconduct."
Meanwhile, actress Jessica Chastain tweeted about Singer on Friday, writing that the public should "not forget" about allegations against him. Chastain also retweeted coverage of the USC petition.
Bartow Weiss, a senior at USC, is one of the six students who launched the campaign to remove Singer's name from the department.
"Bryan Singer has been accused of sexual assault at least four times since 1997 by actors whom he has held a position of power over," Weiss told The Advocate. "He has been accused of sexual assault of minors. That's plural."
Singer was named as a defendant in a 1997 lawsuit that, among other things, alleged the director coerced minors to film scenes in the nude on the set of Singer's movie Apt Pupil. The main accuser was Devin St. Albin, an extra who was 14 at the time. The Los Angeles County district attorney didn't press charges, and civil suits against Singer were tossed out.
Singer was sued in 2014 by Michael Egan, who alleged that the director raped him as a teen in 1999. Egan later withdrew the claims and his attorneys apologized to Singer and other men Egan accused of misconduct.
"It's true that he hasn't been formally convicted, but the consistency and frequency of these accusations give the story a considerable amount of ground," Weiss said.
Singer's representatives didn't respond to messages seeking comment.