Even though producer Avi Lerner doubled down when asked about recent allegations agains Red Sonja director Bryan Singer, it appears the film has been placed on hold due to the sexual abuse accusations against Singer. Despite having previously been marketed towards investors, the film has been taken off the slate and is no longer for sale, according to Deadline.
The article states that while “Singer has not been formally removed from Red Sonja… Millennium’s statement seems to at least acknowledge the filmmaker may not be the right fit for the movie at this juncture.”
Excuse me if I celebrate the fact that a female character with a history of sexual assault will not be directed (for the time being) by an unprofessional director who’s been accused on multiple counts of child sexual abuse.
Lerner even came down from his initial statements, in which he referred to the accusations as fake news, saying, “I think victims should be heard and this allegation should be taken very, very seriously. I just don’t agree to judge by Twitter. I want [the accused] to be judged by the court.” Similarly, BAFTA removed Singer’s name from the Outstanding British Film category for Bohemian Rhapsody; the film also lost a GLAAD nomination following the accusations.
I would be remiss if I did note that Singer has not been formally convicted of any crime. However, as a feminist and someone who believes in the #MeToo movement, I would also be remiss to not believe Singer’s accusers, or at the very least want to see Singer’s alleged crimes investigated. Should these allegations be true, he is an unsafe person to have on set, period. To have him direct Red Sonja would be a slap in the face to sexual assault survivors everywhere.
Similarly, he should not be in contention for this job because he is incredibly unprofessional, something which is well-documented. He was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody, and actors have voiced their concerns about his behavior on set. One of the film’s stars, Tom Hollander, even temporarily quit due to Singer’s behavior. His X-Men films have not been critically acclaimed in a long time, and have not been mass successes at the box office. Despite Rhapsody‘s box office success, it still hasn’t received great nods from critics either.
Singer’s professional behavior should have disqualified him from a $10 million directing gig on Red Sonja, full stop. The allegations themselves also show that Singer has misbehaved on sets in a manner that endanger the crew and cast, and as a result he should also be removed from the project pending investigation into these incredibly serious allegations.
Bohemian Rhapsody could earn at least one Oscar when the ceremony hits, most likely for Rami Malek’s turn as Freddie Mercury. The film, which won big at the Golden Globes, will most likely struggle to escape the shadow of this controversy for the remainder of Oscar season. It’s a shame that Mercury’s story, which meant so much to so many people, was directed by an unprofessional man who is facing allegations of him being a predator. The singer deserved better, and so did the rest of us.
(via Deadline, image: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
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