Brian Singer was trending after Kevin Spacey’s news broke. Why?
Following published allegations Sunday night by Star Trek: Discovery and Rent actor Anthony Rapp that Kevin Spacey made a pass at him when he was 14, many on Twitter are openly speculating on the matter of who will be next to fall from Hollywood’s good graces.
Individuals immediately turned to X-Men director Bryan Singer (who, coincidentally, has a Spacey connection, having directed the actor in The Usual Suspects). In fact, his name was briefly trending on Twitter early Monday morning — notable for the fact that this happened in absence of any actual news about Singer.
I bet Bryan Singer is having a panic attack right about now.
— Harry Cook (@HarryCook) October 30, 2017
Look up Bryan Singer if you want to be prepared for the next round of allegation news.
— Brain Witch Heart (@bwishart) October 30, 2017
Singer’s been sued for sexual misconduct before, and each time, Singer has denied all allegations against him of this nature. That hasn’t stopped his name from being bandied about on gossip sites for years relating to sexual improprieties. And again, while Singer has always denied these allegations, today’s Twitter flare-up is far from the first time his name’s been mentioned in the same breath as lurid misconduct. A representative for Singer did not return a request for comment on this story — we’ll update here if they do.
In 2014, Singer was accused by actor Michael Egan III in a civil suit that Singer and others drugged Egan and “forced him into sex at parties in Encino and Hawaii — starting when Egan was only 15.” Again, Singer denied these allegations, labeling them as “outrageous, vicious, and completely false” to The Hollywood Reporter. Egan’s lawsuit, it’s worth noting, preceded another suit against Singer alleging sexual abuse (filed by a protected plaintiff) by less than a month.
The reactions on Twitter are, if nothing else, a standard-issue “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” trial, which is nowhere near an actual trial, nevermind the scope of the law in general. Moreover, the “trial” by Twitter raises serious ethical questions.
But as The Daily Beast noted in a piece earlier this month, there have been disturbing allegations that have made their way to courts for years, beginning with “ alleging that [Singer] made minors shower in the nude on film for Apt Pupilin 1997.” Per The Daily Beast: “The Apt Pupil lawsuit was later dismissed due to lack of evidence, and the other sexual-abuse lawsuits were withdrawn by the accusers.”
Singer has denied all allegations. But the fact of Singer’s name breaking out on Twitter remains, and so does its very real implication: Whisper campaigns and gossip items are starting to make their way into the larger public consciousness, and affect public opinion. It’s one hell of a new challenge to Hollywood’s notoriously aggressive publicity industrial complex. How are they going to handle that?
We’re about to find out.