Bryan Singer and the Hollywood Sgt Schultz Effect
Bryan Singer and the Hollywood Sgt Schultz Effect
Director Bryan Singer should be doing a happy dance today since he recently hit the Hollywood jackpot. His film, Bohemian Rhapsody, just received two Oscar nominations: one for best picture, and one for lead actor. Instead, he’s fighting a damning report from The Atlantic, which claims that Singer sexually preyed on teenage boys. Moreover, this abuse, claims The Atlantic, has been going on for over twenty years.
But Hollywood has played the part of Sgt. Schultz all this time: they saw nothing.
Now fresh off the Covington Catholic scandal, you might think that this is another rush to judgment by journalists looking for clicks. However, the authors, Alex French and Maximillian Potter, spent a year investigating various lawsuits and interviewing more than 50 sources. They have corroborated time, place, and witnesses. In other words, they have done their due diligence.
And the stories are horrific. A Seattle man, Cesar Sanchez-Guzman, filed suit in 2017 claiming that Singer raped him in 2003, when he was just 17. Here’s what his complaint says:
“[Singer] approached Cesar and thrust his body on him. Bryan Singer then forced Cesar to the floor, shoved Cesar’s face against his crotch area and demanded Cesar perform oral sex on him. Bryan Singer pulled out his penis, smacked Cesar in the face with it and forced it into Cesar’s mouth.”
The day after the lawsuit was filed, Deadline Hollywood published an interview with one of Singer’s many teenage lovers who met Singer in 2013 at a party. The then-18-year-old witnessed Singer plying teenage boys, all looking for auditions, with sex and drugs at outrageous parties. “It was a never-ending supply of cute men,” he said.
In 1997, a number of lawsuits were filed on behalf of teenage boys who acted as extras in Bryan Singer’s film Apt Pupil. These boys, between the ages of 14-17, participated in a shower scene in which they thought they would be wearing Speedos. So did their parents. Instead, the film’s crew stripped them naked.
Another young actor in Apt Pupil had an even more disturbing experience with Bryan Singer himself. Victor Valdovinos was only 13 years old and in seventh grade when Apt Pupil began filming at his LA middle school. One day after basketball practice, Bryan Singer approached Valdovinos to appear in his movie — approached him while he was standing at a urinal. According to Valdovinos, Singer told him:
“You’re so good-looking. What are you doing tomorrow? Maybe I could have somebody contact you about putting you in this movie.”
Singer did put Valdovinos in the movie, and also molested him in a locker room. He told The Atlantic that Singer reached under his towel and “grabbed my genitals and started masturbating it.” Singer also told Valdovinos:
“You’re so good-looking … I really want to work with you … I have a nice Ferrari … I’m going to take care of you.”
And the accounts in The Atlantic go on and on. If you’re the parents of a teenage boy, they’ll make your skin crawl.
Meanwhile, Bryan Singer is pushing back against the exposé by throwing down the homophobia card:
“. . . 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.”
But actors have been complaining about Hollywood men preying on them for years. The former child actor, Corey Feldman, has been outspoken about how he and other children were targets of Hollywood predators, but no one has listened to him. In fact, Barbara Walters even pooh-poohed his accounts. In 2013, when Feldman was a guest on The View, he told Walters:
“. . .the people that did this to both me and Corey, that are still working, they’re still out there and they’re some of the richest, most powerful people in this business. And they do not want me saying what I’m saying right now.”
To which Walters replied:
“You’re damaging an entire industry!”
Bryan Singer has become the gay version of Harvey Weinstein, and, like Weinstein, stories about him have been circulating for decades. But how has he been able to get away with such behavior for so long?
It’s simple. As the saying goes, Money talks, cash walks, nobody balks. Over the past twenty years, Bryan Singer films — which include Valkyrie, Superman Returns, and four X-Men movies — have brought in over $3 billion at the box office. His Oscar-nominated opus, Bohemian Rhapsody, was one of 2018’s biggest money-makers with its over $700 million take. And all that dough is really helpful in settling lawsuits out of court.
But I think this goes even deeper. Hollywood is legendary for its debauchery, of course. But the Bryan Singer saga also goes against the elitist meme that gay men never harm children — that is, unless they’re Catholic priests. Instead, when faced with a monster like Singer, they go Sgt. Schultz and see nothing. Catholic white boys are an easier target, and a much juicier low-hanging fruit, too.