Fired 'Bohemian Rhapsody' director Bryan Singer's BAFTA nod sparks backlash

By Suzy Byrne, Yahoo Entertainment

The accolades continue to roll in for Bohemian Rhapsody and, by default, controversial director Bryan Singer.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards nominations were announced Wednesday and even though Singer, who was fired from the film with just two weeks left, wasn’t nominated for the Best Director award, the movie — about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury — is up for Outstanding British Film with Singer’s name featured front and centre.

FILE – This Dec. 2, 2013 file photo shows Bryan Singer at the Los Angeles premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” at the Dolby Theatre. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

Dexter Fletcher, who stepped in as director at the end to finish the film, isn’t listed. (Film producer Graham King and screenwriter Anthony McCarten were also singled out.) The nomination comes days after the film won Best Motion Picture — Drama at the Golden Globes.

The Outstanding British Film nominees include Bohemian Rhapsody with director Bryan Singer, producer Graham King and screenwriter Anthony  McCarten singled out. (Image: bafta.org)

Although it’s not a shock that Singer is listed as the director — Directors Guild of America requires in its contracts that each film have only one director or directing entity, and Fletcher said he did not want the directing credit, Variety said — there was general disappointment on social media that he was nominated at all.

After all, in addition to his troubles on the set of Bohemian Rhapsody, which starred Golden Globe winner Rami Malek, Singer has faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. Singer has slammed the “false accusations” as well as the “bogus lawsuits” brought against him by accusers, but in this era of #MeToo and Time’s Up, it’s something that hasn’t gone unnoticed.



A lot of the online comments are directed at BAFTA.



After all, last year, BAFTA helped establish a new set of principles and guidance to eliminate bullying and harassment in the screen industries.




There were calls to “remove” the nomination.


There were comparisons to what’s going on with R. Kelly now following the airing of the Surviving R. Kelly documentary.


Plus, there was just general upset over the decision.


Malek has also been specifically called out. The actor didn’t acknowledge Singer in his acceptance speech on Sunday (neither did producers for their Best Motion Picture — Drama win) and has seemingly been avoiding the topic over the last few days as he does press following his win. But people are asking why Malek isn’t being asked why he worked with Singer in the first place, as the allegations against Singer have been around for several years, in the way Diane Keaton, Kate Winslet, Selena Gomez and others have been asked to explain why they worked with Woody Allen. (Allen was accused of molestation by his daughter, Dylan Farrow. No charges were filed and he has maintained his innocence.)





It will be interesting to see if Singer shows up for the BAFTAs, which will take place 10 February. He did not appear at the Globes — and, as we mentioned — was deleted from the conversation that night. But that didn’t stop him from celebrating his win.

After the show, he posted a photo from the Bohemian Rhapsody set, with him sitting in his director’s chair while Malek was on the set, and he thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the honour. Among the commenters to congratulate his “brother” was film producer Brett Ratner.


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