It is Time to get Serious about Bryan Singer

In July of 2018, news broke that Disney had fired James Gunn.

Upon discovering old tweets that were riddle with tasteless and disturbing ‘jokes’, Disney made the decision to fire James Gunn. It is obvious that Disney did not want to be associated with something of that nature. Disney released an official statement regarding Gunn’s firing.

“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” – Alan Horn, Walt Disney Studios Chairman.

When the news broke, James Gunn decided to release a statement concerning his departure from Disney, and his tweets.

1. Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.

— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
2. It’s not to say I’m better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over.

— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
4. For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn’t living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it.

— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
5. Anyway, that’s the completely honest truth: I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don’t anymore. I don’t blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today. Love you to you all.

— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018

Gunn was aware of his mistakes, and immediately began the process of making amends for his actions.

Weeks later, after furious debates among Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit users, the Guardians Of The Galaxy cast came forward to express their feelings about Gunn, and his firing, in a letter to fans.

The cast requested for James Gunn to be rehired, claiming him to be a good man after working with him for as many years as they had, and stood by his side, while not defending his actions.

I’m not here to talk about James Gunn, I’m here to talk about Bryan Singer. Why did I include Gunn’s story? For comparison and understanding. Gunn was fired for Comments. He was fired for jokes made nearly a decade ago, even though he had shown proof of not being that man anymore. He was never accused of sexual assault, child molestation, and rape, on numerous occasions, Bryan Singer was. Gunn may no longer have a career in the film business, Singer on the other hand? His film is up for an Academy Award. Not only could he receive an Oscar, but he still has a job.

On January 23, 2019, The Atlantic reported that four men had come forward, accusing Singer of sexually assaulting them when they were minors.

Singer had been fired in December 2017 from his film Bohemian Rhapsody due to production delays. Days later, Cesar Sanchez-Guzman filed a lawsuit against Singer, claiming that Singer had raped him in 2003, when Sanchez-Guzman was 17. One day after that, a former boyfriend of Singer’s came forward and described a life of Drugs and Orgies.

Former actors and crew members came forward, describing Singer to be a man who preyed on the vulnerability of young actors in Hollywood. Singer had, and has been, accused of raping boys from the ages of 13 and 17. There have also been many reports in the past, leading me to believe that Singer has done more than the public knows.

For more detailed information, check out The Atlantic’s piece on Bryan Singer.

Today, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Singer will not be fired from his upcoming film, Red Sonja.

The producers of the film still believe in Bryan Singer, even going as far to attack The Atlantic for their piece. Singer has come forward and attacked them, claiming them, to be homophobic.

“The last time I posted about this subject, Esquire magazine was preparing to publish an article written by a homophobic journalist who has a bizarre obsession with me dating back to 1997. After careful fact-checking and, in consideration of the lack of credible sources, Esquire chose not to publish this piece of vendetta journalism,” Singer stated. “That didn’t stop this writer from selling it to The Atlantic. It’s sad that The Atlantic would stoop to this low standard of journalistic integrity. Again, I am forced to reiterate that this story rehashes claims from bogus lawsuits filed by a disreputable cast of individuals willing to lie for money or attention. And it is no surprise that, with Bohemian Rhapsody being an award-winning hit, this homophobic smear piece has been conveniently timed to take advantage of its success.”

Singer clearly shows zero care for the dozens of accusations and refuses to comment on what many are saying about him. The GLAAD Media Awards announced today that they will be removing Bohemian Rhapsody from their award show. It was nominated for ‘Oustanding Film- Wide Release’.

Pitchfork reported.

GLAAD came forward with an official 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 by ignored or even tacitly rewarded,” GLAAD’s statement reads.

It continues:

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.

The team that worked so hard on Bohemian Rhapsody as well as the legacy of Freddy Mercury deserve so much more than to be tainted in this way. Bohemian Rhapsody brought the story of LGBTQ icon Freddy Mercury to audiences around the world, many of whom never saw an out and proud lead character in a film or saw the impact of HIV and AIDS in fair and accurate ways. The impact of the film is undeniable. We believe, however, that we must send a clear and unequivocal message to LGBTQ youth and all survivors of sexual assault that GLAAD and our community will stand with survivors and will not be silent when it comes to protecting them from those who would do them harm.

Other films that involve Singer now or in the future should take note of the backlash to The Atlantic story and other previous allegations. The industry cannot let those who perpetuate harms against anyone – especially vulnerable young people—go unnoticed or unchecked any longer.

So far, Bohemian Rhapsody has won a Golden Globe, and is nominated for an Academy Award. The Academy has shown no signs of taking the award away. Singer is still credited as director, which would give him Oscar credit. Even if the film doesn’t win, it still hurts to know that The Academy is willing to recognize a film directed by someone of Singer’s caliber. Hollywood has so far refused to be serious about Singer, considering the X-Men franchise, started by Singer, is about to release its tenth film, Dark Pheonix, directed by yours truly, Bryan Singer.

This man has been accused time and time again of heinous crimes and actions, and Hollywood turns a blind eye to the situation. This isn’t new for Hollywood. We have seen so many directors, producers, etc. fall because of accusations that hold up. That fact is this: there are men in power who prey on the vulnerability of young stars seeking fame at the highest level. They use their power to persuade and take advantage of young children for their own, disgusting gain. It is time to put an end to it.

James Gunn has been fired and had his career ruined because of tweets, Singer still has a career, and he is still getting paid for his achievements. The Academy needs to recognize this. These accusations can’t go unchecked. We have to stop these people from succeeding. We need to listen to survivors and put an end to a culture that brushes rape aside.

It is time to get serious about Bryan Singer. It is time to get serious about all those like him.

Written by Tyler Siedell