Bohemian Rhapsody’s replacement director Dexter Fletcher has said that allegations of sexual abuse made against original director Bryan Singer do not define the film.
Much of the Queen biopic, which missed out on the prize for Outstanding British Film at Sunday’s Baftas, was directed by Singer, but Fletcher stepped in when he left the production before it was completed.
Singer has made headlines in recent weeks after it was alleged he had sexually assaulted four men while they were under-age, although this was not cited as the reason for him leaving the film.
Speaking at the Baftas, Fletcher admitted the allegations – which Singer has vehmently denied – had in some ways overshadowed the film, but did not define it.
He said: “I sort of see it from the sidelines and I think that is a shame, and it’s unfortunate, and it’s one of those things the film has to navigate through and weather, but I think what is more important is the audience love this film and they go and see it, and that seems to be all these things that go around it and whatever.
“At the end of the day people vote with their tickets and that’s what’s important.
“And I think Rami [Malek, who stars as Freddie Mercury] is big enough and smart enough to realise that, and that’s an issue that’s so external from the whole and it’s unfortunate, and of course it overshadows it at times, but it doesn’t define it. It doesn’t define what the film is.”
He added: “Rami’s performance does and Queen’s music does, you know so many bigger, more positive things that define that film. that it’s sad though, yes.”
The Baftas saw Bohemian Rhapsody lose out on the award for Outstanding British Film, losing out to The Favourite.
Bafta bosses had taken the steps to suspend Bryan Singer from the nomination last week, in light of the accusations made against him.
They commented that his alleged behaviour was “completely unacceptable and incompatible with its values” adding: “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.”
Singer described the allegations, which were published in an article in US publication The Atlantic, as “a homophobic smear piece”.