Appearing like a studio has acted appropriately, it is only because the bank accounts became affected.
Director Bryan Singer has been a polarizing figure in Hollywood, and he has just been released from his latest project, as director of the rebooted project “Red Sonja”. Singer has had a number of accusations surrounding his name about sexually violating underage males, but do not applaud the decision to fire him here as a moral victory. It was nothing more than a business decision for the studio that hired the man.
In a curious article from The Hollywood Reporter the news was buried deep in a piece about squabbling over the casting of an actress. In a glorious case of burying the lede the tenth paragraph explains:
(Producer Avi) Lerner made news recently when he hired Bryan Singer to direct a reboot of Red Sonja. After Singer was accused in an Atlantic magazine article of sexually assaulting underaged boys, Lerner dismissed the story as “agenda-driven fake news,” then walked the statement back. Eventually, he dropped Singer from the project because he was unable to secure a domestic distributor. (Emphasis added to underscore the actual story.)
The industry in general the past couple of years has been grappling with how to appear responsible in the light of the #MeToo era and the similar movements. The real challenge however is that Hollywood does not truly care about these issues.
This is the industry that has long supported sexual degenerates like Roman Polanski, and Woody Allen. The studios have looked askance for lengthy years at serious recidivist predators like Harvey Weinstein, and Dan Schneider (long suspected of preying on youths at Nickelodeon.) To listen to lectures from this outlet about sexual comportment has always been a near impossibility.
The duality on this issue that exists in Hollywood can be seen in the case of Singer. The movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” was one of the darlings during awards season, and it was heavily recognized. However during a wealth of acceptance speeches Bryan Singer was never thanked or even referenced by name by anyone associated with the film.
This despite having shot all of the footage, and still retaining his directors credit. But he was removed from the finished product as a result of on set differences, some of which are suspected to involve his sexual assault allegations. Even GLAAD decided he was toxic enough to have “Bohemian Rhapsody” removed from its year end media awards, despite the film featuring a gay lead character.
But Singer was not considered persona non grata in Dreamland. He was hired on to direct “Red Sonja”, for a hefty sum of $10 million. At the time of the announcement Millennium Films defended the decision. Producer Avi Lerner explained in a statement that the $800+ million that “Rhapsody” had earned in theaters was a testament to Singer’s worth. The money — not decency — was also a factor in the new decision to let him go.
So producer Lerner was just fine with Singer, because he saw dollar signs when gazing at the director and not the trail of broken souls lying behind him. However once he saw there was a blockade to his seeing those ticket revenues (your movie does need to be distributed into theaters in order to realize turnstile dollars, after all) it was only then that his prized director became viewed as a toxic entity.
So in a very backwards manner Hollywood has managed to appear to do the correct thing. Just do not give the industry full credit; the name on the credits is still being predicated on what they can bring in to the studio, not what message can be sent out.