News broke Friday evening that production has shut down on Bohemian Rhapsody, the long-developing and oft-troubled Freddie Mercury biopic that finally took off this year under the direction of Bryan Singer. Twentieth Century Fox has “temporarily halted” production on the film, which stars Rami Malek as the late Queen frontman, due to what the studio is calling “the unexpected unavailability of Bryan Singer.”

Variety expanded on that suspicious statement by obtaining a comment from the director’s representative, who cited “a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family” as the reason for the shutdown. “Bryan hopes to get back to work on the film soon after the holidays.”

Early in November, about a month after two exposés chronicling Harvey Weinstein’s alleged history of sexual assault and misconduct were published, and in the midst of a virtual dam-bursting in Hollywood and Washington, Bryan Singer did something interesting. The director, who has previously been accused (but never convicted) of sexual harassment and assault, deleted his Twitter account; meanwhile, some began to notice that certain articles about the allegations against him were being suspiciously scrubbed from the internet.

Could this have anything to do with the abrupt halting of production on Bohemian Rhapsody? Could it be related to Singer’s “personal health matter”?

After I published a story on Singer’s suspicious activities, a friend pointed me toward Popbitch, a long-running, well-connected and reliable gossip site. Their newsletter claimed to have a source or sources on the set of Bohemian Rhapsody, who revealed that Singer was “having fairly regular breakdowns and has been going MIA so frequently that production keeps getting shut down.”

Many have suspected (and even suggested) that, despite his excellent legal representation, Singer’s own reckoning was / is imminent in the wake of the flood of sexual misconduct allegations against members of Hollywood and politics. That list includes Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, NBC’s Matt Lauer, Senator Al Franken, and Alabama Senate hopeful Roy Moore.

Like Spacey, Singer was a frequent (though not as prolific) target on Difficult People, Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner’s now-tragically-short-lived comedy series. Like other prominent men on the growing list of alleged abusers, Singer’s wrongdoings appear to be willfully overlooked or ignored — “the missing stair,” as it’s sometimes known: Everyone knows it’s messed up and in need of repair, but they just avoid it, quietly warning others of its existence.

If Singer’s exit from Bohemian Rhapsody should be come permanent, under any circumstance, I sincerely hope he is replaced with a filmmaker who is passionate about salvaging this film and the hard work of hundreds of talented people that deserve to have their efforts seen.

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