BAFTA suspends director's nomination after sex abuse claims

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BAFTA has suspended the nomination of Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer in the wake of sexual abuse allegations against him.

The US filmmaker had been named in the outstanding British film category for the Queen biopic, but the academy says the suspension is “effective immediately”.

It comes after four men alleged they were sexually assaulted by Singer while they were under-age, in an article in US publication The Atlantic.

Singer, 53, has vehemently denied the claims, calling the report “a homophobic smear piece”.

In a statement, BAFTA said it was suspending Singer’s nomination in light of the “recent very serious allegations”.

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Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite and A Star Is Born are among the nominees

“BAFTA considers the alleged behaviour completely unacceptable and incompatible with its values,” it added.

“This has led to Mr Singer’s suspended nomination.

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“BAFTA notes Mr Singer’s denial of the allegations. The suspension of his nomination will therefore remain in place until the outcome of the allegations has been resolved.”

BAFTA has said Bohemian Rhapsody is still nominated for outstanding British film and other people from the movie recognised in different categories remain nominees.

Trailer released for Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody

Image: Rami Malek won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury

The film has earned seven BAFTA nods, including best actor for Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee Rami Malek, who played Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.

Singer left his role as director on Bohemian Rhapsody before its completion after he reportedly failed to show up to the London set several times.

Malek complained to the studio on behalf of the cast, saying Singer was unprofessional, unreliable and often absent, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Last month, Bohemian Rhapsody was removed as a nominee for best original film at the GLAAD Media Awards ceremony, which celebrates the LGBT community, following the sexual abuse allegations against Singer.

He has previously directed films such as X-Men, Superman Returns and The Usual Suspects, for which he received a BAFTA nomination in 1996.

The 2019 BAFTA Film Awards will take place at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Sunday.

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