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Why Bohemian Rhapsody was dropped from this major Hollywood awards ceremony

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Kayleigh Dray
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Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody - Fox

GLAAD has released a statement explaining the decision to remove Bohemian Rhapsody from consideration.

There is no denying that Bohemian Rhapsody has been doing incredibly well on the awards circuit. 

Earlier this month, Rami Malek, who plays Freddie Mercury in the Queen movie, won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, while the film (the highest-grossing musical biopic of all time) won Best Motion Picture, Drama. And, earlier this week, Malek picked up an Academy Award nomination - his first ever Oscars nod - for Best Actor, while the film was also nominated in the Best Picture, sound editing, sound mixing, and film editing categories.

However, the recent allegations against director, Bryan Singer, have led to the film being removed from contention at this year’s GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Awards.

“In light of the latest allegations against director Bryan Singer, GLAAD has made the difficult decision to remove Bohemian Rhapsody from contention for a GLAAD Media Award in the Outstanding Film – Wide Release category this year,” read the official statement, which was published in Variety.

“This week’s story in The Atlantic documenting unspeakable harms endured by young men and teenage boys brought to light a reality that cannot be ignored or even tacitly rewarded.”

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The report to which GLAAD refers to was, according to The Atlantic, researched over 12 months, with over 50 sources consulted during this period. It features testimonies from four men, all of whom have accused Singer of sexually assaulting them in California between 1997 and 1999, while they were underage. 

One of these men was Victor Valdovinos, who said he worked as an extra on Singer’s 1998 film Apt Pupil. In his interview with The Atlantic, he claims that Singer sexually assaulted him when he was 13 years old, “grabb[ing] my genitals and … masturbating it” in a locker room on the film set.

Two other men – referred to pseudonymously as Eric and Andy – have accused Singer of having sex with them knowing they were under the age of consent of 18 in California, where the events allegedly took place. (They say they were 17 and 15 respectively.) Another man, named pseudonymously as Ben, said he had oral sex with Singer when he “was either 17 or 18”.

Singer has denied the accusations and, in a statement released to Deadline, slammed the Atlantic’s report as “vendetta journalism” and a “homophobic smear piece”.

“The last time I posted about this subject, Esquire magazine was preparing to publish an article written by a homophobic journalist who has a bizarre obsession with me dating back to 1997,” he said. “After careful fact-checking and, in consideration of the lack of credible sources, Esquire chose not to publish this piece of vendetta journalism.

“That didn’t stop this writer from selling it to The Atlantic,” he added. “It’s sad that The Atlantic would stoop to this low standard of journalistic integrity. Again, I am forced to reiterate that this story rehashes claims from bogus lawsuits… and it is no surprise that, with Bohemian Rhapsody being an award-winning hit, this homophobic smear piece has been conveniently timed to take advantage of its success.”

Responding to Singer’s statement, GLAAD has criticised his use of the word ‘homophobia’, noting: “(Singer) 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.”

Variety reports that representatives for Singer and Bohemian Rhapsody’s studio 20th Century Fox had no immediate comment to GLAAD’s statement.

Image: Fox

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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