Rami Malek as the rock icon Freddie Mercury in a scene from Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Picture: Twentieth Century Fox
Rami Malek as the rock icon Freddie Mercury in a scene from Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Picture: Twentieth Century Fox

Grim fact Bohemian Rhapsody can’t avoid

Bohemian Rhapsody's Golden Globes win for Best Picture was a stunning upset - but as the movie's stars and producers took the stage to claim their prize, there was a much bigger elephant in the room: sacked director, Bryan Singer.

Despite being completely left out of the celebrations at the Hollywood awards night, Singer, 53, still went out of his way to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for delivering the movie two coveted statues.

In stark contrast, the star of Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek - who also won Best Actor - was deafeningly silent about Singer when taking the stage throughout the evening.

The cast and crew of Bohemian Rhapsody accepting the award for Best Motion Picture — Drama. Picture: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images
The cast and crew of Bohemian Rhapsody accepting the award for Best Motion Picture — Drama. Picture: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The director was fired from the Freddie Mercury biopic in December 2017 a couple of weeks before filming wrapped, amid rumoured tension with Malek, 37, and other members of the cast. The unexpected sacking caused production to temporarily shut down before British director Dexter Fletcher stepped in to finish the job.

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Shortly afterwards, Singer was sued in a civil action over an accusation that he raped a 17-year-old boy. He has firmly denied the claim and no criminal charges have been laid.

 

Bryan Singer is still billed as the film’s sole director. Picture: Angela Weiss/Getty Images
Bryan Singer is still billed as the film’s sole director. Picture: Angela Weiss/Getty Images

He may have been left at home the night of the Golden Globes, but it was hardly a case of "out of sight, out of mind". In fact, Singer is still billed as the movie's sole director, thanks to union rules.

With other high-profile scalps already taken in the #TimesUp era, many - including Westworld actress Evan Rachel Wood - were left wondering why Singer seemed to be exempt.

 

The question was raised by reporters backstage following Bohemian Rhapsody's Best Picture win, but neither Malek nor producer Graham King were interested in giving it much airtime.

"It's not something I really wish to talk about tonight," King told members of the press.

Responding to why he hadn't thanked Singer in either of his speeches, Malek was firm but evasive: "There's only one thing we needed to do and that was to celebrate Freddie Mercury in this film.

"He is a marvel. There is only one Freddie Mercury and nothing would compromise us giving him the love, celebration and adulation he deserves."

Earlier in the evening, a beaming Malek won Best Actor for his role in the movie. Picture: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images
Earlier in the evening, a beaming Malek won Best Actor for his role in the movie. Picture: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images


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