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Bryan Singer’s Comeback Attempt Reminds Us That Cancel Culture Isn’t Real

Bryan Singer

Disgraced director and producer Bryan Singer is the worst. As a reminder, Singer was credibly accused of sexual abuse by multiple men in a 2019 Atlantic article, and in 2021 he was accused of mental, emotional, and sexual abuse by his former assistant Blake Stuerman in a first-person account that was published in Variety. Singer is a bad guy, and if you need any proof that cancel culture is not real, here it is: He’s trying to stage a comeback, with an assist from none other than … Variety.

Excuse me while I retch for a moment. Per Variety‘s entirely too sympathetic report:

Even more intriguing, Singer is working on a self-financed documentary about himself and “his struggles,” says one source who was approached about the project, and calls the pitch “impressive.” According to his pitch, Singer plans to address the allegations of sexual misdeeds and cover his attempt at career resurrection, the source adds. “Well, at least we know it will be fair and balanced,” one documentary veteran quips.

Just what we need: an accused predator’s take on those allegations. This is like asking Hannibal Lecter to create a cookbook. Who wants this?!

I think I speak on behalf of everyone except the worst of us when I say: Bryan Singer, shut the f*ck up and stay gone.

What is even more disgusting is that Variety, the publication that published Stuerman’s account of abuse at Singer’s hands, is making a soft pitch for why a documentary about Singer would actually be interesting. You can’t make this stuff up:

Controversies aside, Singer’s backstory is dramatic. He was adopted by Grace Sinden, an environmental activist, and Norbert Dave Singer, a corporate executive, and was raised Jewish in suburban New Jersey, where he began dabbling as a teen in filmmaking. After he graduated from USC, his rise was meteoric; his debut feature film, “Public Access,” took the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1993. His follow-up, “The Usual Suspects,” solidified his status as a young visionary after star Kevin Spacey and writer Christopher McQuarrie nabbed Oscars.

“Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?!”

You cannot push Singer’s “controversies aside” when said controversies—cute euphemism for abuse there, Variety—are the reason he was shunned from Hollywood and his lucrative career. This is bananas. No one stays canceled in Hollywood (unless, of course, you’re a woman, in which case you’re labeled “difficult” instead of “canceled”), but Variety doesn’t need to lob a soft pitch for Singer to clear the path.

The article becomes even more maddening when they point out that Singer would be “one of the few” people shunned in Hollywood to successfully return. Per the above source:

If Singer is able to relaunch his career, he will be one of the few artists accused of sexual harassment or assault to have staged a comeback. Morgan Freeman survived a 2018 CNN investigative piece in which eight women accused him of harassment and inappropriate behavior, going on to star in Lerner’s “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” three years later and even presenting at the Oscars in March. Dustin Hoffman, who retreated from studio fare after claims by seven women of harassment or assault, is reprising his role as the voice of Master Shifu in next year’s “Kung Fu Panda 4.” But for most accused celebrities, a mainstream return has proved elusive.

Excuse me, what?! Louis C.K. is selling out his stadium tour and he just won a Grammy. Mel Gibson is starring in thingsagain. Hell, let’s not ignore that Donald Trump was just found liable of sexual assault and he’s still the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. (To say nothing of his being elected in 2016 despite admitting to sexual assault on tape.)What the hell is this article even talking about? No man stays canceled for long. They just have to skulk away for a moment and then come back as if nothing happened.

Abusers facing repercussions is not the norm. The fact that Singer had a career downturn after the survivors of his abuse came forward is an excellent thing. Egotistic monsters never can stay away for too long, but did Variety need to make it easier for this one? It’s just yet further proof that cancel culture isn’t real, and if you’re a mediocre white guy, you can get away with basically anything.

(featured image: Jason LaVeris, FilmMagic)

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Kate Hudson (no, not that one) has been writing about pop culture and politics for five years, and is a Contributing Writer at The Mary Sue. With a deep and unwavering love of Twilight and Con Air, she absolutely understands her taste in pop culture is both wonderful and terrible at the same time. She has probably seen Cliffhanger more times than you. Team Edward 4-Eva.