BAFTA suspends Bryan Singer's Bohemian Rhapsody nomination due to sexual misconduct allegations

Bessie Dean
February 11, 2019

BAFTA released a statement which it said: "In light of recent very serious allegations, Bafta has informed Bryan Singer that his nomination for Bohemian Rhapsody has been suspended, effective immediately". 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. As one of the most prestigious ceremonies of the year, the awards recognize outstanding achievements in film and television, with a focus on championing British cinema.

In a statement on Wednesday BAFTA said it considered Singer's alleged behavior "completely unacceptable and incompatible" with its values.

Nominees for best British film - a separate category - are Channel Islands thriller Beast, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, fashion documentary McQueen, Laurel and Hardy biopic Stan and Ollie and crime thriller You Were Never Really Here. This has led to Mr Singer's suspended nomination.

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"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". For example, in 2003, BAFTA honored Roman Polanski, a USA fugitive who faces charges of raping a 13-year-old girl, with the David Lean Award for Direction.

The film earned five Academy Award nominations, including Malek's best actor nod. King and McCarten remain nominated, while Bohemian Rhapsody will also contest a further six BAFTA Awards. After all, why bother removing Singer's name from the nomination if the film doesn't receive an award? Singer has denied those claims as well, calling the article a "homophobic smear piece" that was "conveniently timed" to take advantage of Bohemian Rhapsody's success.

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