With Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award wins behind him for his role as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, Oscar nominee Rami Malek spoke about the allegations of serial sexual predation against the film's director Bryan Singer at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Friday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Malek was awarded the SAG award from his acting peers last Sunday but avoided speaking about Singer, even though controversy hit the film just days prior when The Atlantic released an exposé that delved into allegations that Singer had been sexually abusing young men for decades.
"My heart goes out to anyone who has to live through anything like what I've heard and what is out there," said Malek, who was being honored in Santa Barbara, Calif. for his role as Mercury, the singular bisexual front man of Queen.
"It's awful, it's remarkable that this happens. I can appreciate so much what they've been through and how difficult this must be for them,” Malek continued. “In the light of the #MeToo era that this somehow seems to exist after that, it's a horrible thing."
The Mr. Robot star previously said that he signed on to the role prior to Singer’s coming on board and he was unaware of rumors about the director’s alleged history of sexually abusing young men.
“As far as I knew, I was considered before Bryan was even attached,” Malek told the Los Angeles Times late last month. “So I had my head down preparing for this for about a year ahead of time, and I never really looked up.”
During his remarks in Santa Barbara, Malek reiterated that Singer had been fired from the film.
"For anyone who is seeking any solace in all of this, Bryan Singer was fired. Bryan Singer was fired, I don't think that was something anyone saw coming but I think that had to happen and it did,” Malek said.
Singer was fired from the film shortly before shooting wrapped for failing to show up to set, but his name is still attached to the biopic. It also came out last week that despite being let go, he could still rake in $40 million for directing the film.
Malek also told the crowd at the film festival that he did not enjoy his working relationship with the X-Men director.
"In my situation with Bryan, it was not pleasant, not at all. And that's about what I can say about it at this point,” Malek said.
A few days after The Atlantic piece hit, GLAAD announced it did not nominate Bohemian Rhapsody for an award because the organization intended to send a message that it “stands with survivors of sexual assault.”