The latest in a long list of Hollywood’s attempts to pander to China include the omission that Freddie Mercury was gay in “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
The Queen biopic was released in February in the United States, but a seemingly different version of the film was plated for Chinese audiences and released in late March, according to the New York Times.
The Chinese version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” is only three minutes shorter than the American version, but created a huge hole in the plot considering Mercury was no longer gay. The scenes that didn’t make the cut for the Chinese version include the scene where Mercury tells his fiancée that he is not straight and the scene that introduces Mercury’s lover, Jim Hutton.
In the scene where Mercury admits he has AIDS, the audio abruptly cut out, the Times reported.
Some in Chinese audiences noticed the changes and weren’t happy with the censorship.
“Since I’m watching a biopic, I want to see an authentic person,” Sun Jing, 26, told the Times after watching a screening of the film in Shanghai. “Contents of his life should not be so inexplicably removed.” (RELATED: Here’s All The Times Hollywood Bowed Down To Chinese Censors In Film Productions)
“On the topic of L.G.B.T. issues, they’ve completely misled the public,” Lu Zhan said.
When actor Rami Malek won the Academy Award for Best Actor, China censored his speech on a Chinese streaming platform.
“We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself,” Malek said.
The Chinese version of his speech reportedly replaced “gay man” with “special group,” the Times reported.