Gay scenes from 'Bohemian Rhapsody' to be removed for Chinese release

Ben Arnold
Contributor
The release will omit depictions of drug use and Freddie Mercury’s bisexuality.

Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody has been confirmed for release in China, but with around a minute of footage featuring homosexuality and drug use removed.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, it will premiere later this month across the world’s second biggest movie market.

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However, sources say that footage of drug use and the same-sex kisses between Rami Malek’s Freddie Mercury and other male characters will be cut.

The film has so far been confirmed for a limited run, but this could be expanded should the audience take to it.

The news comes after one Chinese streaming site censored Rami Malek’s acceptance speech at the Oscars, after winning Best Actor last weekend.

“Listen, we made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life unapologetically himself,” he said on picking up the gong.

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However in its subtitling of the speech, Mango TV replaced ‘gay man’ with ‘special group’.

Mango TV has form in this area, having previously blurred out footage of fans waving rainbow flags while broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest.

But China’s state policy on broadcasting LGBT content seems somewhat blurry itself on occasion.

While plans to screen last year’s gay romance Call Me By Your Name at the Beijing International Film Festival were eventually axed, Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winner Moonlight was allowed to be shown on streaming site iQiyi.