Chinese Viewers Balk At ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Censorship

Photo: 20th Century Fox
Photo: 20th Century Fox

BEIJING — Moviegoers in China are criticizing a censored version of the biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” which erases mentions of Freddie Mercury’s sexuality.

The film chronicles the life of Mercury, lead singer of the legendary British rock band Queen.

Chinese audience members say scenes in which Mercury reveals that he is not straight and that he has AIDS were cut or abruptly muted. A kiss shared by Mercury and his longtime partner, Jim Hutton, is also missing.

While LGBT content is generally less taboo than other topics which Chinese authorities deem sensitive, same-sex relationships are still virtually absent from mainstream media.

When Chinese video site Mango TV livestreamed the Academy Awards in January, “Bohemian Rhapsody” lead actor Rami Malek’s speech was subtitled to read “special group” when in fact he said “gay man.”