Back to IndieWire

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Oscar Plan: Fox Questioned for Listing Bryan Singer as Best Director, but There’s No Sign of a Campaign

20th Century Fox is being called out for listing Bryan Singer on the "Bohemian Rhapsody" FYC page, but it might a contractual obligation issue.

"Bohemian Rhapsody"

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

20th Century Fox/YouTube

20th Century Fox’s official FYC website is now live with pages listing campaigns for “Bad Times at the El Royale,” “Widows,” “The Hate U Give, and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” While the slate gives the studio a number of potential contenders, it’s the consideration list for “Bohemian Rhapsody” that is being called out online.

No one is dinging Fox for campaigning “Bohemian Rhapsody” lead Rami Malek for Best Actor, but the studio is receiving backlash for listing Bryan Singer under Best Director. Singer has a long history of being accused of sexual harassment and child abuse in Hollywood. Moreover, Singer was fired before completing “Bohemian Rhapsody” due to erratic behavior and going missing from set for extended periods of time. Fox ultimately replaced Singer with Dexter Fletcher, but “Bohemian Rhapsody” was released with Singer maintaining sole director credit.

Singer’s listing on Fox’s awards page was initially called out in a Twitter thread posted by film writer and critic Kayleigh Donaldson, who has bylines at ScreenRant, Pajiba, and more outlets.

“Yes, Fox [is] campaigning Bryan Singer for Best Director,” Donaldson wrote. “Just in case you were wondering how seriously the industry actually takes, you know, decades of lawsuits, harassment & assault accusations & multiple documented incidents of unprofessional behavior.”

Fox declined to speak on the listing when reached for comment by IndieWire, but a source close to the studio said Fox’s FYC page is listing all categories for consideration and that no money is being spent on a Singer campaign for Best Director. The decision to list Singer as a Best Director contender might also be a contractual one; it’s not uncommon for a director of Singer’s stature to list an awards campaign in his contract to direct a film.

With complaints against Fox circulating, it should be stressed there’s a difference between listing Singer’s name for awards consideration and physically spending the money to campaign for him, which a source confirmed is not happening. Singer has not given any interviews promoting the film, nor has he appeared at any of Fox’s FYC events for the movie. Cast members like Malek have mostly avoided talking about Singer during the film’s press tour as well.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Additional reporting by Anne Thompson.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox