Chinese Government Removes All References to Freddie Mercury’s Sexuality from Bohemian Rhapsody
After a surprising approval, China has removed six different LGBTQ moments from Bohemian Rhapsody.
In total, the Chinese government removed two minutes of LGBTQ content from Bohemian Rhapsody in China.
Two minutes may not sound like a lot, but it scrubs six key moments from the Queen biopic, including one that results in a gaping plot hole for the Chinese audience.
The movie opened on March 22nd in China. The movie tells the story of Queen’s frontman, Freddie Mercury, an icon important to both the music industry and the LGBTQ community.
Mercury died of AIDS-related illnesses at 45 years old.
Despite this censorship, many in the LGBTQ community have actually called the release a victory. Chinese censors banned the portrayal of any “abnormal sexual behavior” in 2016, so the fact that the movie was still released could be considered a win.
So, what was cut?
1. Two Men Kissing
In the original film, Mercury was dating his manager, Paul Prenter, who roughly kisses him in a scene not shown in the version shown to the Chinese audience.
2. The Words “Bisexual” and “Gay”
Freddie Mercury is a longtime lover of his friend Mary. In the middle of the film, she confronts him about his sexuality. During this scene, Freddie says, “I think I’m bisexual.” Mary then responds, “No Freddie, you’re gay.”
They removed these two important lines from the Chinese version.
3. The Word “Gay” Is Removed a Second Time
This one is a little different. Freddie Mercury has a new haircut. Upon seeing it, Roger Taylor, the drummer for Queen, says, “Gayer?”
In the version shown to the Chinese audience Roger Taylor gives the haircut a funny look, but the line is gone.
4. A Character Entrance, Creating a Plot Hole
Freddie Mercury is drunk and gropes a server at his party. This is the first time we see the server, Jim. Later, Jim is around, but the Chinese audience doesn’t know where he came from as their meeting isn’t in the Chinese release. Later on, a kiss between Mercury and Jim is also gone.
5. A Closeup Of a Man’s Crotch
At one point early in the movie Freddie Mercury is performing and a camera zooms in on his crotch as he moves his hips. His producer then gets angry about this, so it’s an important part of the plot. The Chinese release doesn’t exactly remove this moment entirely, but cuts it down to a split-second.
6. The Iconic Scene Where “I Want to Break Free” Plays
This is a big one! Queen dresses up in women’s clothes and films the music video for “I Want to Break Free.”
The Chinese version skips all of this. The movie jumps to show the band getting angry at MTV for banning the music video.