Millennium Films is shelving Red Sonja amid the current attention being given to director Bryan Singer’s alleged history of sexual abuse, as THR reports. In 2017, Cesar Sanchez-Guzman came forward and accused Singer of raping him in 2003, when he was only 17.
THR notes that Singer has not technically been removed as the film’s director, but that the project is not on Millennium Films’ slate currently. Red Sonja is not being shopped at the European Film Market in Berlin in 2019, either.
It’s clear that the production company is finally picking up on what a huge ethical malfeasance it is to work with a director who’s been accused of sexually abusing underage boys for years. Accusations against Singer date back to 1997, when minors acting in his film Apt Pupil said that the director asked them to film a nude shower scene. And yet Singer has still been allowed to direct a number of notable movies, including the X-Men franchise and, most recently, Bohemian Rhapsody.
However, Millennium Films don’t deserve a lot of credit for finally putting Red Sonja on the back-burner; CEO Avi Lerner signed off on a defiant PR statement calling a recent spate of allegations published in The Atlantic “agenda-driven fake news.” Later, when attempting to backpedal on the obviously awful quote, Lerner told THR, “I don’t want to apologize. I just want to clarify [the statement]. I think victims should be heard and this allegation should be taken very, very seriously. I just don’t agree to judge by the Twitter. I want [the accused] to be judged by the court.”
A blanket message to all production companies: There are numerous directors who haven’t been accused of sexual abuse. Maybe consider hiring them instead.