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BAFTA withdraws nomination for Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer amid sex allegations

BAFTA withdraws nomination for Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer amid sex allegations
Director Bryan Singer, who faces fresh allegations of sexual misconduct, has been dropped from an awards nomination for his highly acclaimed film ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ the British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced.

Counted among Hollywood’s most successful directors, Singer’s 20-year career includes such hits as ‘The Usual Suspects’ and ‘X-Men’ – but the bigshot director has fallen on hard times. Singer was fired as the director of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ three weeks before filming was complete, a move which coincided with a lawsuit filed by a Seattle man who claims Singer raped him in 2003, when he was 17-years-old.

Still, the allegations did not prevent ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ from being nominated in the Outstanding British Film category. BAFTA had a change of heart, it seems, with the release of the Atlantic’s March 2019 issue, which features a harrowing investigation into Singer’s long history of alleged sexual improprieties. The article includes interviews with several men who claim that Singer raped them when they were underage.

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BAFTA said in a statement released on Wednesday that its decision to remove Singer from the nomination came “in light of recent very serious allegations.” While not getting into specifics, BAFTA stressed that it considers Singer’s alleged behavior “completely unacceptable and incompatible with its values.”

The nomination “suspension” placed on Singer “will remain in place until the outcome of the allegations has been resolved,” the statement read. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is still in the running for Outstanding British Film, but Singer would not be among the individuals named in the nomination, BAFTA clarified.

The 2019 BAFTA Film Awards will take place at London’s Royal Albert Hall on February 10.

The move, which comes amid the #MeToo push-back against sexual assault in Hollywood, appears to be among the first times that a major awards nomination was withdrawn due to allegations of sexual misconduct. For example, in 2003, BAFTA honored Roman Polanski, a US fugitive who faces charges of raping a 13-year-old girl, with the David Lean Award for Direction. That year, Polanski also shared a BAFTA award for Best Film, in recognition of his critically acclaimed film ‘The Pianist.’ Polanski also won an Oscar for Best Director for the film.

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Similarly, Woody Allen, accused by his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow of sexual assault, has been nominated for and won BAFTA awards years after the allegations of sexual misconduct first emerged.

Singer’s unprecedented BAFTA nomination suspension has sparked theories that the organization may be doing damage control ahead of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’s’ win on Sunday. After all, why bother removing Singer’s name from the nomination if the film doesn’t receive an award?

“BAFTA has removed Bryan Singer’s name from ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’s’ British Film nomination...after voting has closed, natch. Something tells me it probably won then,” one astute netizen observed.

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