I don’t usually write about Hollywood “affairs” unless they relate to Israel. But I am always intrigued by censorship and the cold, brutal hand of the censor, where they’re in Israel or Hollywood. And tonight director Bryan Singer’s lawyers are working overtime rooting out all online/media evidence of the latest charges against him involving molestation of young boys. In fact, Singer is a lawyer’s dream client providing permanent employment to shield him from his alleged vices and their exposure.
Numerous stories were published over the past few days after an alleged victim named Justin N. Smith published a series of tweets saying that Singer engaged in illicit sexual activities with him when he was a teenager.
Either Twitter or Smith himself removed his account. It also looks like Bryan Singer has removed his own Twitter account. I can imagine why given the vitriol I’ve read in the tweets Twitter has taken down (possibly under pressure from Singer). Yahoo News, which first published the tweets, also removed its story. And other media outlets which followed on the Yahoo News reports also deleted their stories. No one has explained their editorial self-censorship.
There are a few brave holdouts. But most of them refer only obliquely to the current charges and focus their attention on numerous previous lawsuits, charges and unflattering media profiles of Singer and his sexual peccadilloes. The Dailywire’s is the sole remaining source which retains the charges by Smith in full. Kudos to brave editors there who haven’t been cowed by the Singer legal team.
The Jewish Forward comes in for rebuke, once again, not only for its journalistic cowardice, but for failing to do the least editorial investigation of stories it published. Jane Eisner, the managing editor beset by rebukes after she killed a Harvey Weinstein story, once again deserves a razzberry for taking down this report:
Our source for an aggregated story published about ‘X-Men’ director Bryan Singer, was Yahoo News. When they took their story down we removed ours, too, as we could not independently confirm the sources originally cited.
I’ve managed to retrieve the censored article from the dustbin of internet history.
Before Singer’s lawyers come after me as well, I should add that no one has authenticated the claims made by Justin Smith. Singer has never been charged with committing a crime in this case. But I am charging the former with suppression of free speech and public debate about very serious charges that affect all of American society. While I cannot say whether Singer is innocent or guilty of charges levelled against him now and in the past, I can say that his intense, unremitting campaign to rid the web of articles about his alleged sexual escapades reek of the bullying typical of predators. I should add that numerous previous charges by young male actors against him were either dropped or lawsuits were dismissed. Since Singer’s lawyers have possibly pressured complainants into signing non-disclosure agreements in return for financial settlements, the alleged victims may no longer freely discuss what Singer did to them. This is the same toxic pattern that Harvey Weinstein followed which allowed him to rape and abuse scores of women over a thirty-year period.
Now that Kevin Spacey’s sordid history is coming to light, one only hopes that the truth will soon be known about Bryan Singer. And any wise film studio considering working with him should demand the truth from him about his past. And if his affirmations are ever proven to be false, there should be stringent penalties even harsher than the ones built into Weinstein’s last contract with his company. Unlike the old Russian adage Ronald Reagan used to quote: “trust, but verify;” Anyone working anywhere near Singer should not trust, but definitely should verify.
Sexual abuse is a scourge. It does no one any good to hide or suppress it (if that is what has happened here). We should fight those who cling desperately to their power and their lawyers seeking to shut down legitimate inquiry.