Earlier this week, the world was (unfortunately) not so shocked to read an article in the Atlantic detailing new accusations of the sexual abuse and rape of underage children by X-Men director Bryan Singer. These accusations have been circling the director for a long time now. Today, even in light of the most recent report of allegations, the producer of Singer’s next movie isn’t budging.
Red Sonja is a remake of the 1985 film based on the Marvel Comics character created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor-Smith (and partially based on author Robert E. Howard’s work). Singer has been attached for several months (and was reportedly negotiating for $10 million for the job). A lot of people inside the industry (and outside of it, too) were not happy about the situation and assumed, especially after the Atlantic article, he’d be removed.
“The over $800 million Bohemian Rhapsody has grossed, making it the highest grossing drama in film history, is testament to his remarkable vision and acumen,” Lerner continued in his statement. “I know the difference between agenda driven fake news and reality, and I am very comfortable with this decision. In America people are innocent until proven otherwise.”
It’s worth noting that Lerner runs a company called Millennium Films, a company that has also been hit with allegations of sexual harassment – allegations that Lerner denies. Actor Terry Crews also alleged last year that Lerner, producer on the Expendables franchise, called Crews’ manager to ask him to drop his case against talent agency William Morris in regards to a lawsuit against it, and its employee Adam Venit, following sexual assault allegations against Venit. Crews, speaking to the Guardian, said Lerner told his manager he “could avoid problems on the set of the next Expendables sequel,” if he dropped the suit. The agency eventually reached a settlement with Crews after an investigation “found that Venit’s behavior was an isolated event.”
While we won’t get into the disturbing details of Singer’s alleged actions (the Atlantic article is very effective in that), there is one action he may have a problem with if Millennium keeps him on Red Sonja: hiring. Who in Hollywood will agree to work for Singer? Not just with these allegations either, but with the fact he has a documented penchant for being unreliable on set, most recently when he was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody?
GLAAD released a statement today saying it was removing the film from contention for its annual GLAAD Media Awards this year in light of the allegations. It read in part, “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.”
Filmmaking is the work of thousands of people coming together to make and release a movie. Keeping Singer impacts all of them.