Hollywood must stand up for all victims

These nominations are quite ironic considering nearly a year ago Hollywood was pushing the #MeToo movement and spreading awareness of sexual assault by wearing all black at the Golden Globes.

by Sydney Karlos, Staff Writer

For the last couple of years, the dark side of Hollywood has made front page news and opened the eyes of film lovers to what is really happening behind the scenes.

The film garnering so much attention this award season is Bohemian Rhapsody.

Once a song written by Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody was turned into a biopic about the life of Freddie Mercury and the beginning of the legendary band Queen.

Problems arose though when the director of the film, Bryan Singer, was accused of sexually assaulting young boys.

This did not seem to stop the movie from sweeping many of the awards during the 2018-2019 season and become a popular success.

The reason why Fox hired Singer in the first place is still unclear.

With a background of causing chaos on sets and the accusations against him, it does not seem clear to me why they would hire him to direct such an important movie.

Complaints from actors on set of tardiness and altercations with set members seemed to have to do with why Singer was eventually “fired,” not the allegations against him.

Even after firing Singer, he was still projected to make more than $40 million from Bohemian Rhapsody.

In addition, the display of ignorance by the entire cast, mostly Rami Malek, who plays Freddie Mercury in the film, makes this movie even more problematic.

From ignoring questions about Singer’s accusations to actually saying that it was Freddie’s ghost that caused Malek not to look into Singer before signing onto the movie nothing about the movie seems like it is something worth watching.

At the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Gina Carbone of Cinema Blend reports that Malek addresses Singer’s allegations by saying, “For anyone who is seeking any solace in all of this, Bryan Singer was fired.”

How is a victim’s abuser supposedly being fired from one of the year’s biggest films supposed to help all the pain that the victim goes through?

Malek’s disregard for the victims of Singer is unsettling and appalling.

No matter how much Malek wants to blame Freddie Mercury’s ghost for why he decided to work on this movie, Malek was the one who chose to sign onto the film.

According to Jenna Marotta and Dana Harris of IndieWire, “Singer has a series of reported incidents that have dogged his career, and the careers of associates, across two decades.”

It is very hard to believe that Malek had no clue about the accusations against Singer since they have been around for 20 years

An article from The Atlantic came out shortly after Bohemian Rhapsody was nominated for the Oscars revealing stories of the boys that were seduced or raped by Singer.

According to Alex French and Maximillian Potter of The Atlantic, “the victims we interviewed told us these experiences left them psychologically damaged, with substance-abuse problems, depression, and PTSD.”

Many victims in the article want the writers to withhold their real names, probably because of the retaliation they would receive from accusing one of the most powerful directors in the industry of horrific abuse.

According to the article, one of the victims, who goes by the name Ben in the article, recalls that Singer was “predatory in that he would ply people with alcohol and drugs and then have sex with them.”

Many guests of parties that they went to at Singer’s Los Angeles home recalled noticing that “how young many of the guests looked…How did all these boys get here? Where are their parents?”

The story that stuck out to me the most in The Atlantic article was Sanchez-Guzman’s story of being raped by Singer.

Sanchez-Guzman recalls being raped by Singer after meeting him on a yacht. When trying to tell others on the yacht about what happened, many, including Singer, told him “Nobody is going to believe you.”

With power and money, it is very easy in Hollywood to make an issue disappear.

Many other stories in the article detail how Singer took advantage of them when they were not of age. It is concerning that Singer was even allowed to direct a movie.

These stories seem to have no effect on the success of Bohemian Rhapsody.

With 16 major award nominations in 2019, nobody in the industry seems fazed by the horrific allegations against Singer.

The most major nominations include best picture and best actor at the Academy Awards and the Oscars.

These nominations are quite ironic considering nearly a year ago Hollywood was pushing the #MeToo movement and spreading awareness of sexual assault by wearing all black at the Golden Globes.

According to Deadline, actress Lena Waithe says, “they not only want to stop sexual harassment but racism, homophobia, transphobia—all those things.

“This is about making everyone being treated equally and having a happy and safe work environment—whether you work in Hollywood or are a farmer or a nurse.

“All of us wearing black is a small token of our solidarity.”

This protest followed the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault cases and the end of Kevin Spacey’s career after allegations of sexual assault were revealed.

Many in the industry called for those who abused their powers to be blacklisted out of Hollywood and to make their names known.

Now, a year later award shows are nominating a movie directed by an alleged rapist for best picture and raving about how amazing the movie is.

Hollywood picks and chooses when it wants to raise awareness about a serious issue and chooses to ignore issues when they become an inconvenience.

Some might say that Hollywood is better and they have grown to become more aware of the issues of the world, but this is false and the success of Bohemian Rhapsody proves it.

This movie not only taints Freddie Mercury’s image but should be a disgrace to Hollywood.

No man who has this many allegations against him should have the power of being one of the top directors in the industry.

No man should have the power to ruin someone else’s life without having to face the consequences.

Bryan Singer is a disgrace to Hollywood and the cast of the movie and band members of Queen should be ashamed of themselves for allowing a movie based around one of the most influential people in the music industry be tainted.

Sydney Karlos is a freshman studying journalism.