No film is getting more publicity right now than X-Men: Days of Future Past. The Fox franchise has been the lowest earner of the Marvel series with no individual movie earning more than $500 million at the box office. With a reported budget north of $200 million, Fox needs the film to be a big hit when it opens next month.
But now it’s getting some unwanted publicity. Director Bryan Singer is being accused of sexually assaulting an underage boy. The lawsuit, which was filed in Hawaii, is full of very serious accusations against the director. You can read more about it here. Singer’s lawyers have said the lawsuit is without merit and that it was filed now (the abuse is alleged to have occurred in 1999) to coincide with the publicity push for the new X-Men movie.
For movie fans, the suit raises some tricky moral questions about how we spend our money. The lawsuit is only an accusation right now, nothing has been proven. But if any of it is true, how can we go to see X-Men and let ourselves be swept away knowing that a person who may have taken advantage of a young boy profits from the film? Even if you take money out the equation, is it right to enjoy a film if it was made by a very bad person?
Of course this isn’t the first time film lovers have dealt with this quandary. Most recently, many of us have wondered if we can still love Woody Allen’s movies as accusations that he molested his adopted daughter when she was 7 have resurfaced. Allen’s ex, Mia Farrow, and his son, Ronan Farrow, have been publicly shaming Hollywood for continuing to work with Allen and lavish him with praise (the Hollywood Foreign Press recently presented the director with the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award). His daughter Dylan, who he is accused of molesting, recently spoke out for the first time, asking people like Cate Blanchett how she can work with Allen. Blanchett won the Best Actress Oscar this year for her work in Allen’s Blue Jasmine.
Then there are people like Roman Polanski who was arrested for having sex with a 13 year old girl. The crime led to Polanski traveling the globe to escape being put in prison but some of Hollywood’s brightest are still willing to work with him. Kate Winslet and Jodie Foster costarred in Polanski’s movie version of Carnage in 2011. Both actresses were nominated for Golden Globe awards for the movie.
It’s a very difficult situation and I’d love to hear from you how you deal with this. I struggle with it personally. It’s hard to imagine loving Annie Hall any less but at the same time, I definitely watched Blue Jasmine through different eyes. I’ve been incredibly excited to see the new X-Men movie. I loved First Class and the thought of all of those folks in the same film is at once bonkers and appealing. But this suit has definitely made me think twice.
Follow me on Twitter at DorothyatForbes.