Bryan Singer, Fox, Double and Triple Standards

April 18, 2014

You may have heard that after years of whispered rumors concerning Bryan Singer’s unpleasant behavior toward young fellows, he’s now being sued for abusing a teenage boy who says that contemporaneous reports were made to the LAPD, but were dismissed without investigation. This is pretty serious stuff! If a priest were accused of this sort of thing, we would hope the Church would rush in and DO SOMETHING! Though of course we would all presume that the priest was innocent the way we presume that Singer is innocent. (After all, if Singer wasn’t innocent, surely he wouldn’t be filing a countersuit.)

Fortunately for Singer, the studio handling his latest film, has declared that whatever did or did not happen is really just a “personal matter” that they have no intention of addressing.

Which is absolutely the right thing to do. Singer’s personal behavior in this case has no bearing on his ability to serve Fox’s business interests or work within the community.

We should hope, however, that Singer has been put on on warning. Because if the discovery process finds that he gave money to Proposition 8, there’s going to be hell to pay. You can only expect society to tolerate so much.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

SkinsFanPG April 18, 2014 at 8:27 am

As the kids on the interwebs say “THIS!”

Good thing the alleged victim is a male, otherwise Singer might be forced to flee to France like Roman Polanski. Oh the humanity!

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Dave S. April 18, 2014 at 10:03 am

So a film director’s role in his community and society is identical to that of a member of the clergy. Got it.

And only the innocent file countersuits. Surely.

Kindly define the term “triple standard” and its relevance to the collection of words and punctuation appearing underneath it.

I have been reading you for some time now. This easily is the worst thing you have ever posted.

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SkinsFanPG April 18, 2014 at 11:33 am

I think the double standard JVL refers to is the way our society and media treat clergy accused of sexual abuse and how our society and media treat hollywood elite accused of sexual abuse. The third standard is how our society and media treat a well-respected CEO of a pioneer tech company when it is learned that he donated money to a traditional marriage cause.

How is this the “worst thing [JVL has] ever posted”?

Should we treat Singer differently than we treat clergy accused of the same crime?

Should we proceed with caution and patience while the legal process unfolds when it comes to Singer, but not when it comes to clergy?

Should we tarnish the careers of tech giants because they donated $1000 to a traditional marriage cause 6 years ago and have since apologized at the same time we proceed with caution and patience when it comes to Singer’s career?

Dave S.- I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say you might be homosexual. Am I correct?

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Dave S. April 21, 2014 at 10:08 am

SFPG,

For the record, I am not homosexual, but in paraphrased tribute to the late Harold Ramis I am willing to learn. May I ask why you went out on that particular limb? I will note that I was raised Catholic and served as an altar boy, so I do have some perspective on this, though, thank God, not firsthand.

My point, which I made poorly and in haste, was the difference in the (alleged) abuser-victim relationship in the two cases. The clergy have the weight of the entire Catholic Church behind them, not to mention leverage over the victims’ souls, and we have see the shameful and, yes, criminal cover provided to abusers by that institution. I would argue that there is less institutional “cover” in the case of a “Hollywood!” (I like that) director, with Polanski actually being Exhibit A. Had a movie studio actually planned, directly financed and executed his flight from justice there would be slightly more of an analogy here. Compare to Bernard Cardinal Law, who, while not alleged to be an abuser himself, was in a position to do something and did worse than nothing.

This difference in institutional cover translates into a difference in the ability of victims, both psychologically and legally, to seek justice. Compare the time elapsed between the alleged Singer actions and the subsequent lawsuit with the time elapsed in the clergy abuse cases. I seriously doubt Singer told his alleged victims that silence was salvation. (Parapharasing/speculating there; abuse victims are often told that THEY are the “sinners.”)

In the Eich case, Mozilla employees and end-users (a business and its market) brought market forces to bear and effected change. They were as free to do that as we are free to disagree with it. Personally I don’t consider it any of my business.

What actually gores my ox (Ox? aye, mandias) is a loosely thrown-together set of “amirite?!” talking points by someone whom I assume is being paid for their writing. Compare this to Mr. Last’s piece on the Duke lacrosse team; I don’t agree with everything he says there but it is much better written and shows some actual thought behind the prose. Here? Not so much.

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SkinsFanPG April 21, 2014 at 1:55 pm

I went out on that limb because in my anecdotal experience, homosexuals are sensitive to comparing clergy-Singer-Eich. I will admit that this may be an unfair conclusion.

As for your clergy vs. Singer point- fair enough, the clergy have an institution behind them that provides protection; which makes us particularly sensitive to accusations of abuse. My only point is that Hollywood elites have similar networks that allow for abuse to go undetected for decades, and as such we should treat allegations of abuse in a very similar manner to how we treat similar allegations against clergy.

I disagree with your claim that market forces had an influence on the Eich affair. In fact, I believe that had market forces actually had any influence, it would have shown to support or disinterest in Eich (i.e. Firefox would not have seen any decrease in downloads or use had Eich been allowed to keep his job).

Eich received a Twitter lynching, plain and simple. There were no market forces here, merely an organized cabal using social media to destroy the career of a tech pioneer. Mozilla was certainly within their rights (nobody is claiming censorship here) to fire Eich, I just think it establishes a terrible precedent and cultivates an environment where only lock-step agreement on same-sex marriage is tolerated. If you followed the philosophical debate regarding the Eich affair, it was quite clear that many same-sex marriage supporters do not wish to engage in debate on the subject, they have proclaimed victory and any dissent will not be tolerated.

If you believe in traditional marriage, you have no place in today’s society.

If you are accused of abusing teen boys, and you are a famous hollywood director, we are going to “wait and see”.

Are you comfortable with that? I’m not.

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Dave S. April 22, 2014 at 10:11 am

Thanks for the response.

“Comparing clergy-Singer-Eich”? It is an understatement to say that one of those things is not like the others, and it’s one of the problems I have with the original post.

I am in complete agreement with you on the necessity of treating abuse allegations consistently, and did not intend to imply otherwise. Agreed also on the “similar networks” point, although again I would point out that the disparity in time elapsed in the Hollywood! vs Vatican cases illustrates the far more monolithic and powerful nature of the latter’s network.

Turning to the Eich incident (great Ludlum title btw), there was a lot of internal opposition to his selection and it seems like that drove the course of events more so than external social media forces. However, I did not follow the story closely so I could be wrong on that.

Finally, there is a significant difference between having a place in a society and having that society conform to your philosophy. I continue to remain mystified as to why same-sex marriage is a “threat” to “traditional” marriage, and why the two cannot coexist within our society.

Nedward May 4, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Dave S.: As a visitor since pre-WordPress era I never assumed you to be gay (though I’d wager you haven’t voted for George W. Bush or Mitt Romney in any state–like myself). Your reaction to the neutral question by the guy, himself a blog participant pro tem compared to us, is far out disproportionate and a bit impolite even by 2014 netiquette, since it seems the only times we get to read comments by Dave S. coincide with selected Civil Rights topics: gay marriage; gay comic book heroes; gays in the military; you kinda flipped out over Orson Scott Card; und so weite.

I’ll go out on the shorter rhetorical limb here and suggest that you don’t feel especially strongly about the blog owner’s thoughts, opinions, or proclivities either way, except when he’s in need of bringing to heel for the LGBT Kulturkampf–am I right?

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Dave S. May 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Nedward, I’d have to say you are wrong, but I am unable to find all the posts on which I have commented here; there aren’t that many but I do not think they have had a focus on LGBT issues. (“Kulturkampf” – nice touch.) In fact, my comments in this thread have had nothing to do with LGBT issues as such. Provide some evidence for your rather specific assertion and I’ll reconsider. (Did I really flip out over Orson Scott Card? The only pieces I could find here are these two, in both of which I fail to appear with my incisive prose and sparkling wit.)

As far as a “disproportionate” and/or “impolite” response, are you referring to my conversation with SkinsFanPG? My biased opinion is that it’s fairly reasonable and not particularly rude – sure, it started odd but I think it was a good exchange of opinions by the end – but if SFPG feels otherwise then I offer my apologies; it was not intended as such.

Now, if you are referring to my original response to our host, he called me an ass or something like it in a reply to a long-ago comment, so by setting that kind of tone I think he can accept some sarcasm and mild abuse in the spirit in which it is offered.

mrmandias April 18, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Sorry about your ox getting gored, man. Weird that your particular ox is the sanctity and purity of Hollywood! directors, but whatever.

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Galley Wife April 22, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Why is no one in agreement that this is the worst thing he’s ever posted? : )

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craig henry April 18, 2014 at 1:40 pm

I am glad that the press is showing the same restraint as when the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke.

Imagine if Hollywood had to live by the “Paterno Rules” derived from the Penn State scandal. They’d have to cancel the Oscars for ten years and pay billions in settlements.

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Vertov April 18, 2014 at 2:10 pm

“Dave S.- I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say you might be homosexual. Am I correct?”

Oh man.

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Fake Herzog April 19, 2014 at 11:29 pm

From the late great “Larry Sanders Show”:

[Producer] Artie chews out [writer] Phil after his repeated homophobic jokes prompt a gay assistant (Scott Thompson) to hit the show with a sexual harassment lawsuit. “You know who runs this town?” Artie growls at Phil.
“The Jews,” Phil says.
“No,” Artie retorts. “The gay Jews.”

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Steve Sailer April 23, 2014 at 1:09 am

That needs to be on YouTube.

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Fake Herzog April 23, 2014 at 8:41 pm

I agree Steve — especially since I had to go to your website to get the accurate quote!

I’m glad you’re reading Last — he’s one of the best in the business (after you of course!)

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Fake Herzog April 23, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Dave S.

I don’t know if you are still stopping by to check the comments, but I couldn’t leave this hanging:

“Finally, there is a significant difference between having a place in a society and having that society conform to your philosophy. I continue to remain mystified as to why same-sex marriage is a “threat” to “traditional” marriage, and why the two cannot coexist within our society.”

On the one hand, those of us who think so-called same-sex “marriage” is a fiction and at a metaphysical level incoherent, agree with you. We could care less if gays and lesbians went to their false churches and got “married”. What we care about is the State redefining marriage for the rest of us and forcing us to play along.

Here is a question for you, since I don’t think you’ve been paying attention to the news: what do you think about forcing the Christian small business owners to cater to so-called same-sex “weddings”? Apparently the gays and lesbians aren’t happy with coexistence — it’s their way or the highway.

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Dave S. May 6, 2014 at 9:26 am

FH,

Sorry, didn’t see this until yesterday. To answer your question, it sounds like a relatively complex discrimination issue is working its way through the courts, with the question being whether a religious exemption should be granted to businesses otherwise obligated to serve the public regardless of various factors outlined in the relevant state legislation. It will be decided by a combination of judicial and legislative action, and the result will be law in those particular jurisdictions.

Did I miss anything?

I do try to pay attention to the news but will admit that I tend to pay more attention to items that impact me and/or that I care about. The oppressed Christian baker story didn’t register all that much, I’m afraid.

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