The decision was made after new allegations of sexual misconduct were made against director Bryan Singer
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, the organization said it “made the difficult decision to remove Bohemian Rhapsody from contention for a GLAAD Media Award in the Oustanding Film — Wide Release category this year” after four reportedly men accused Singer, 53, of sexual misconduct.
“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,” the statement continued. “Singer’s response to The Atlantic story wrongfully used ‘homophobia’ to deflect from sexual assault allegations and GLAAD urges the media and the industry at large to not gloss over the fact that survivors of sexual assault should be put first.”
GLAAD is a nonprofit organization that monitors and promotes awareness and inclusiveness of the LGBTQ community in the media. The annual GLAAD media awards recognize outlets for achievements in fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBTQ community.
Fox, the studio which distributed Bohemian Rhapsody, had no comment.
The Atlantic’s report involved allegations from men who accused the X-Men director of seducing and having sexual relations with them while they were minors — one as young as 13.
The article was published in the wake of Bohemian Rhapsody being nominated for multiple Oscars including Best Picture and crossing over $900 million at the worldwide box office. PEOPLE has not independently confirmed the accuracy of The Atlantic’s report.
Singer’s lawyer Andrew Brettler told The Atlantic that the director categorically denies ever having sex with, or a preference for, underage men. The lawyer also noted that Singer has never been arrested for or charged with any crime.
In response to the allegations and GLAAD’s decision, Singer said in a statement, “It’s sad that The Atlantic would stoop to this low standard of journalistic integrity. Again, I am forced to reiterate that this story rehashes claims from bogus lawsuits filed by a disreputable cast of individuals willing to lie for money or attention. And it is no surprise that, with Bohemian Rhapsody being an award-winning hit, this homophobic smear piece has been conveniently timed to take advantage of its success.”
GLAAD had previously shown support for the Oscar-nominated film but added in the group’s statement, “The team that worked so hard on Bohemian Rhapsody as well as the legacy of Freddy Mercury, deserve so much more than to be tainted in this way.”
“Bohemian Rhapsody brought the story of LGBTQ icon Freddy [sic] Mercury to audiences around the world, many of whom never saw an out and proud lead character in a film or saw the impact of HIV and AIDS in fair and accurate ways. The impact of the film is undeniable,” continued GLAAD’s statement.
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“We believe, however, that we must send a clear and unequivocal message to LGBTQ youth and all survivors of sexual assault that GLAAD and our community will stand with survivors and will not be silent when it comes to protecting them from those who would do them harm,” the statement continued. “Other films that involve Singer now or in the future should take note of the backlash to The Atlantic story and other previous allegations. The industry cannot let those who perpetuate harms against anyone – especially vulnerable young people – go unnoticed or unchecked any longer.”
Singer has also previously been accused of abuse, and he has denied the allegations.
In 2014, aspiring model and actor Michael Egan filed a civil suit against the director, claiming he forced him into sex during parties in California and Hawaii in the late 1990s.
The director’s attorney at the time, Martin Singer (no relation to the director), called the lawsuit “absurd and defamatory.” Singer provided evidence that he was not in Hawaii at the time and the suit was ultimately dropped.
Later in 2014, a second accuser filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against Singer. When he was 17, the man claimed in the lawsuit, Singer fondled him and tried to force him to have sex. Singer vehemently denied the allegations.
A Los Angeles court accepted Singer’s motion to dismiss on the grounds that there was no legal basis for the suit, and that it was improperly brought.
He was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody in 2017 near the end of filming for allegedly being “unexpectedly unavailable” for several days on set. Singer is still credited as director and thanked the Golden Globes earlier this month for the best motion picture, drama award the film won.