Brian May slams 'vindictive' press for bad reviews of 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

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Freddie Mercury and Brian May from Queen at Live Aid on July 13, 1985 (Credit: FG/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images)
Freddie Mercury and Brian May from Queen at Live Aid on July 13, 1985 (Credit: FG/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images)

Queen’s Brian May has slated the ‘vindictive sickness’ of the press and movie critics for the negative publicity given to Oscar-winning biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

The film’s star Rami Malek won Best Actor for his role as Freddie Mercury in the film, and director Bryan Singer’s movie also won the Oscars for film editing, sound editing and sound mixing, making it the biggest winner of the night.

But many critics battered the film, branding it ‘embarrassing, trite and textbook‘, as well as accusing it of being ‘revisionist’ in its take on the band’s history, and sanitising Mercury’s life.

(Credit: Fox)
(Credit: Fox)

Despite the Oscars – and whatever his percentage may be of the vast $876 million it made at the box office – Brian still appears to be sore about those negative articles.

In a lengthy post to Instagram, the guitarist lets rip.

“I found the public activity behind the whole awards season, and the behaviour of the media writers surrounding it, deeply disturbing,” he writes.

Read more: Bryan Singer snubbed in ALL Oscar speeches

“If you look at the Press and Internet discussions that took place over the last few months, you can see that 90% of it is aimed at discrediting one or other, or all of the nominated films by innuendo and smears, rather than discussing their merits and admiring the skills that went into making them.

“Vitriol and dishonesty, and blatant attempts to shame and influence the members into voting the way they, in their arrogance required them to.

Rami Malek (Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Rami Malek (Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

“It’s not the fault of the awards panels – they stood up well. It’s a kind of vindictive sickness that seems to have gripped public life.

“All through it, I’ve been biting my tongue, not wishing to influence the results of the ballots even by a hair.

“But, when the curtain came down, I was left with very mixed feelings.”

View this post on Instagram

Well, yes. You saw I went very quiet after the Oscars were over, signalling the end of the whole movie awards season. What really happened ? We opened the Academy Awards show in a way it’s NEVER been opened before, in an avalanche of excitement, looking out on an instant standing ovation from a glittering audience containing many of our heroes, all beaming and singing with us and punching the air. We then, shockingly, walked away with 4 Oscars – the top haul of the night. The head of local production came up to me and shook my hand as we left the auditorium. He said “ I’ve been doing the Oscars for 40 years, and that was the best opening we ever had !” A lovely moment. So – everyone assumes that we would then all go forth, deliriously partying with not a care in the world. But I guess I’m not that kind of animal. I was, and I am, deeply grateful for our Freddie film being recognised in a way we never had the audacity to expect. But I found the public activity behind the whole awards season, and the behaviour of the media writers surrounding it, deeply disturbing. If you look at the Press and Internet discussions that took place over the last few months, you can see that 90% of it is aimed at discrediting one or other, or all of the nominated films by innuendo and smears, rather than discussing their merits and admiring the skills that went into making them. Vitriol and dishonesty, and blatant attempts to shame and influence the members into voting the way they, in their arrogance required them to. It’s not the fault of the awards panels – they stood up well. It’s a kind of vindictive sickness that seems to have gripped public life. All through it, I’ve been biting my tongue, not wishing to influence the results of the ballots even by a hair. But, when the curtain came down, I was left with very mixed feelings. They persisted until I read this VERY well thought and well written article in the Spectator. Brave, truthful – and now I don’t have to explain. It’s all here. Keep swiping to see it the whole piece or visit the Guardian https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/02/bohemian-rhapsodys-oscars-win-is-a-triumph-over-snobby-film-critics/ ! Cheers folks. Bri

A post shared by Brian Harold May (@brianmayforreal) on Mar 1, 2019 at 7:53pm PST

May is perhaps also alluding to the controversy surrounding director Bryan Singer, who was ultimately fired from the production by Fox, and which placed something of a dark cloud over the success of the film.

Last month Singer was accused by two more men of sexual misconduct, adding to a number of previous accusations facing him.

Singer, who was eventually replaced by Dexter Fletcher – but retained his full directing credit, thanks to union rules – has denied the allegations made against him.


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