The British Academy of Film and Television Arts bestowed the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody with seven BAFTA nominations. Now, because of the numerous allegations of sexual assault leveled against its director Bryan Singer, the British equivalent of the Academy Awards has scrubbed his name from the nomination for Outstanding British Film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"In light of recent very serious allegations, BAFTA has informed Bryan Singer that his nomination for Bohemian Rhapsody has been suspended, effective immediately," BAFTA said in a statement.
Since The Atlantic published an exposé in January highlighting Singer’s alleged sexual assault of several young men over the course of a couple of decades, GLAAD refused to even nominate Bohemian Rhapsody for an award. And the film’s star, Rami Malek, spoke out about the allegations and against Singer at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival last Friday.
The director of X-Men and The Usual Suspects, Singer, who is bisexual, vehemently denied the accusations laid out in The Atlantic piece and pivoted to claiming he was a target of homophobia.
"BAFTA considers the alleged behavior 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 BAFTA statement continued. "The suspension of his nomination will, therefore, remain in place until the outcome of the allegations has been resolved. 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."
Responding to the news that BAFTA would remove Singer’s name from the nomination, a spokesperson from the 20th Century Fox, the studio that made the film, said, "We fully support BAFTA’s decision."
Singer was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody a few weeks before production wrapped, allegedly for erratic behavior and failing to show up to set. He was replaced by Dexter Fletcher. Still, Singer could pull in $40 million for his work on the film, it was revealed last week.
The highest-grossing LGBTQ film of all time and also the highest-grossing music biopic ever, Bohemian Rhapsody was the darling of the Golden Globe Awards in January winning a best picture award and a best actor award for Malek as the bisexual icon Mercury. The movie earned five Oscar nominations, including a best picture nod, as it recently crossed the $800 million mark at the box office.