‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Released in China Without Gay-Themed Content
Queen’s blockbuster biopic Bohemian Rhapsody has been approved for release in China, albeit with some revisions to the original cut.
The Hollywood Reporter claims at least one minute of edits will be made to the film, removing images of drug use and several kisses between Freddie Mercury and other male characters.
News of the release came as a surprise to many observers. China has historically held a repressive stance on gay-themed content, banning 2005’s Oscar winner Brokeback Mountain and routinely editing homosexual images from television and streaming services.
A date for the Chinese debut has not been announced, though rumors indicate it will be sometime in March. Unlike in most major markets worldwide, the movie will be getting only a limited release in China.
Bohemian Rhapsody is one of the most successful films of the past year, earning more than $850 million at the box office on its way to becoming the biggest musical biopic of all time. The film earned four Academy Awards, including Rami Malek taking home Best Actor honors for his portrayal of Mercury.
During his acceptance speech, the star commented that the film’s success proves that the public is “longing for stories like this.” “We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself,” he said. China received harsh criticism on social media for censoring the speech, with subtitles translating “gay man” to “special group."
Ironically, Bohemian Rhapsody was met with criticism upon its release by those who believed the movie 'hetwashed' Mercury's character.