Articles About Bryan Singer’s Alleged Assaults Mysteriously Vanish Along With His Twitter Account
In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, numerous women have (and continue to) come forward with allegations about the former Hollywood executive’s history of sexual harassment, assault and rape. He’s not the only one. Dozens of brave women and men have spoken out in recent weeks with similar accusations about Kevin Spacey, filmmaker and producer James Toback, and others. The dam has effectively burst, leading many to wonder if older allegations may resurface now that Hollywood appears ready to listen and take action. One of the names most frequently uttered on social media in recent weeks is that of director and producer Bryan Singer.
And the man behind X-Men isn’t exactly painting himself as innocent in the public eye. As noted by The Playlist, Singer’s Twitter account was recently deleted. That’s not necessarily a red flag, but coupled with a pair of other developments, it’s somewhat troubling. In a series of tweets on November 1, a man named Justin Smith accused Singer of sexually assaulting him several years ago. Those tweets have since been deleted, but The Daily Wire still has the text, which describes numerous encounters with Singer that culminated in assault.
Then Reddit took notice of something particularly suspect during an internet search for articles about other sexual assault allegations against Singer: They no longer exist. (You can view a GIF of the fruitless search here.)
Although he has never been formally charged with sexual assault or harassment, Singer has been involved in a few scandals. Back in 1997, the Oscar-winning director of The Usual Suspects was accused of inappropriate behavior on the set of his follow-up, Apt Pupil. In a lawsuit that was dismissed due to insufficient evidence, a 14-year-old extra claimed that Singer had asked a group of young teen boys to get completely naked for a shower scene.
You may also recall that in 2014, an actor named Michael Egan III came forward alleging that Singer had drugged and raped him on multiple occasions in 1999. This was followed by a similar suit filed by a British man who accused Singer of sexual abuse. Egan ultimately withdrew his suit, and was subsequently sentenced to two years in prison for investment fraud. The lawyers who represented Egan in the suit against Singer later said the actor fabricated the allegations.
That’s important to note in light of recent revelations about Weinstein, whose victims were often forced to sign non-disclosure agreements, and who reportedly hired numerous private investigators and highly-skilled operatives to obtain information and compile detailed files on his accusers. An alarming report written by Ronan Farrow for The New Yorker revealed that Weinstein spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to silence his accusers and prevent the New York Times from running its exposé on Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment and assault.
Weinstein’s directives to private investigators included digging up dirt on his accusers: Their personal lives, sexual relationships, potentially immoral or damning behaviors that could cast them in a negative light and undermine their credibility. Essentially, this would help Weinstein and his lawyers establish that these women couldn’t possibly be telling the truth because they had made mistakes in the past.
As evidenced by Weinstein’s actions, it is entirely possible to intimidate and silence victims. And it’s easier to do so if you can divert blame by mining their personal lives for illicit actions, especially if those actions are potentially worthy of jail time.
Egan may have been discredited in the press, but allegations of Singer’s predatory behavior — removed from the internet or no — remain troubling.
A few years ago, the documentary An Open Secret sought to shine a light on the sexual abuse of teenage boys in Hollywood. After receiving a limited release, the film struggled to find a distributor. Singer, along with music mogul David Geffen and movie producer Michael Huffington were the focus of the documentary, which explored the early days of Digital Entertainment Network (or DEN), an early producer of web videos. The trio were investors in the company, which was notorious for throwing massive parties where drugs, alcohol, and underage boys were often present.
Those parties were held at the home of DEN founder Marc Collins-Rector, who is now a registered sex offender. A fascinating 2014 BuzzFeed feature detailed Collins-Rector’s history, his guilty plea in a U.S. district court for trafficking minors across state lines for the purposes of sex, and his subsequent disappearance from the public eye.
Singer has consistently denied allegations of sexual misconduct, and though articles about those allegations have apparently vanished from the internet (along with his Twitter account), it seems that many members of the media and people in Hollywood haven’t forgotten.
Last week, Jessica Chastain, who is set to star in the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix, tweeted a link to The Daily Wire article about the allegations surrounding Singer along with the comment, “Let us not forget.” When asked why she chose to join a franchise produced by Singer, Chastain explained that she “didn’t realize he was involved until recently,” but she “had no dealings with him and he wasn’t on set.” Series writer and producer Simon Kinberg is directing the sequel.
Chastain isn’t the only actor who hasn’t forgotten about Singer’s history of alleged abuses. Difficult People has made a running joke out of Singer (and Kevin Spacey). The Hulu comedy series, created by and starring Julie Klausner, is absolutely fearless when it comes to mocking celebrities. In a Season 2 episode, Billy Eichner’s character snaps back at his co-worker, an aspiring actor and diminutive gay man (a typical twink, in gay slang), “Why haven’t you drowned in Bryan Singer’s pool yet?”
Although Singer has repeatedly denied sexually harassing or abusing anyone, there are still lingering questions about his potential guilt — exacerbated by the scrubbing of articles regarding those allegations from the internet and his disappearance from social media. Those aren’t exactly the actions of someone with nothing to hide.