Malek was honored at the Santa Barbara Film Festival for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in the film. In his speech, Malek acknowledged the growing discomfort with Singer, who, in a recent report in The Atlantic, was accused of sexually abusing young men in Hollywood for years, and expressed solidarity with his victims. Singer has denied the allegations.
"My heart goes out to anyone who has to live through anything like what I've heard and what is out there," Malek said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "It's awful, it's remarkable that this happens, I can appreciate so much what they've been through and how difficult this must be for them. In the light of the #MeToo era that this somehow seems to exist after that, it's a horrible thing."
Malek went on to say that working with Singer was “not pleasant” and reminded the audience that Singer was ultimately fired from the film.
“In my situation with Bryan, it was not pleasant, not at all. And that’s about what I can say about it at this point,” he said. “For anyone who is seeking any solace in all of this, Bryan Singer was fired. Bryan Singer was fired, I don’t think that was something anyone saw coming, but I think that had to happen and it did.”
Singer was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody about two weeks before its filming wrapped in December 2017. The firing was reportedly due to “inappropriate behavior,” including throwing a piece of electrical equipment on set and quarreling with Malek, not assault allegations. Singer is still credited as the film’s director and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, will likely make at least $40 million from its profits.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).