Baftas 2019: Rami Malek Glosses Over Bryan Singer Controversy As He Wins Best Actor

He won for his portrayal of Queen's Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.

Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek avoided any mention of controversial director Bryan Singer as he accepted the award for Best Actor at the Baftas on Sunday.

Rami, who was honoured for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic, glossed over Singer’s involvement in the film, following accusations of sexual abuse made against him.

Four men claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Singer when they were under age in an article published in The Atlantic.

Singer has since vehemently denied the allegations, calling the piece “a homophobic smear piece”.

Rami Malek at Sunday night's Baftas
Rami Malek at Sunday night's Baftas

During his acceptance speech, Rami instead paid tribute to Dexter Fletcher, who replaced Singer on the project when he was fired before filming was completed. Reasons for his departure were unrelated to the recent accusations made against him.

Describing his win as “truly extraordinary”, Rami said: “I still cannot believe I’m included in this group of actors I so respect and admire. I share this with you guys, I thank my lucky stars.

“It’s quite difficult entering your world in this role as an outsider, you Brits do it so well and it’s not lost on me how sacred your musical heritage is. Thank you, thank you, thank you for including me.”

“I have to thank Fox and New Regency and our producers – Graham King and Denis O’Sullivan and Dexter Fletcher. And this extraordinary cast and crew that I had the blessing…so blessed to work with every day.

“I thank you. I would not be here without each and every one of you.”

Rami won the award for Best Actor
Rami won the award for Best Actor
David M. Benett via Getty Images

He added: “Thank you so very much to Queen, the entire Queen family, I wouldn’t be here without you and to the greatest outsider of them all, for being so unwavering and unflinching and uncompromising in every which way, thank you Freddie Mercury again.”

Rami’s win came after the film failed to win Outstanding British Film - a category from which Singer’s nomination was suspended last week, in light of the allegations made against him.

Bafta bosses 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.”

Bryan Singer has denied allegations of sexual assault made against him
Bryan Singer has denied allegations of sexual assault made against him
Jason LaVeris via Getty Images

On the night, Dexter Fletcher also addressed the current headlines, admitting that while they overshadow the film somewhat, they do not define it.

Rami previously spoke out about the allegations made against Singer, saying last month: “My heart goes out to anyone who has to live through anything like what I’ve heard and what is out there.

“It’s awful, it’s remarkable that this happens, I can appreciate so much what they’ve been through and how difficult this must be for them. In the light of the Me Too era that this somehow seems to exist after that, it’s a horrible thing.”

On his own experiences of being on set with Singer, the actor added: “I’ve sat here and talked about how everyone deserves a voice and anyone who wants to talk about what happened with Bryan deserves to have their voice heard.

“In my situation with Bryan, it was not pleasant, not at all. And that’s about what I can say about it at this point.”

Olivia Colman

Bafta 2019 Red Carpet


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