News and Commentary

The Weinstein Fire Encircles Alleged Sexual Predator Bryan Singer

Last week, as the allegations against actor Kevin Spacey came to the fore depicting a man who routinely harassed male co-workers on set and in private, some of whom were teenaged boys, attention quickly shifted toward X-Men director Bryan Singer and past allegations accusing him of committing sexual assault on underage boys.

Days later, a man named Justin Smith took to social media claiming that he saw firsthand the many alleged sexual misdeeds committed by Bryan Singer and even guaranteed “the stories of the young men who say they were raped are true.” His tweets soon vanished from social media, as well as his Twitter account.

Hollywood A-lister Jessica Chastain also shone a light on the Singer allegations and told The Daily Beast of her refusal to back down from helping to bring Hollywood’s dark underbelly to light.

“I do not feel beholden to anything,” she said. “I’m going to speak my mind about any injustice that I see. I’m not afraid of anything in terms of that. And I think the greatest myth that an industry can create is to make people feel like they’re easily replaceable. I’m not going to allow that into my life.”

One week later, the controversy surrounding Singer has not ceased and has only worsened. Over at USC, students have begun circulating a petition on calling for a removal of the director’s name from the school’s Division of Cinema and Media Studies. The petition garnered 2,300 signatures as of press time.

Created by Emily Halaka, the petition says that by keeping Singer’s name, the school “gives the impression that we, both as an institution and as members of the entertainment industry, value his financial contributions over the safety, respect and future of students. It sets a precedent of lenience for sexual criminals and further undermines the visibility and respect that victims of harassment and assault deserve.”

Director Bryan Singer has a rap sheet of sexual assault allegations made against him — and most of the allegations pertain to teenaged boys.

Back in 2014, his film X Men: Days of Future Past nearly came undone when actor Michael Egan III filed a civil suit alleging that Singer drugged him and “forced him into sex at parties in Encino and Hawaii — starting when Egan was only 15.” Singer denied the allegations and the lawsuit was eventually dropped. At the same time, though, another alleged victim filed suit against Singer, making similar accusations. That suit was also, eventually, dismissed.

In 1997, an allegation emerged against Singer. A 14-year-old boy said that the director asked him and other minors to shower in the nude for the film Apt Pupil. That lawsuit was dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence.