China has cut all of the gay references from Bohemian Rhapsody. Anything having to do with Freddie Mercury being gay or bisexual has been removed and it has created some major plot holes in the highly successful music biopic. It was no secret that China was going to do some heavy editing to the movie, but it might have been a better idea to not even screen it at all after so much was scissored out.
The Academy Award winning Bohemian Rhapsody opened in Chinese theaters on March 22nd and China's strict policies on exhibiting LGBTQ content have gutted the biopic. Every line of dialogue that mentions being gay or bisexual has been cut out and any scene featuring two men kissing has also been removed. When Freddie Mercury meets his partner Jim Hutton for the first time has been cut and when Mercury reveals that he has AIDS, the audio has been muted. These are some pretty major elements of the movie. Over two minutes of footage has been edited out of the biopic.
The Jim Hutton scene was removed because it features Rami Malek's Freddie Mercury grabbing his crotch at the end. However, when Mercury makes it a point to have Hutton attend the legendary Live Aid gig, it now makes no sense. All of the scenes having to do with any LGBTQ topics have been removed and Chinese audiences are only seeing a fraction of Freddie Mercury's story on the big screen and the movie no longer makes any sense. They even cut out the music video for "I Want to Break Free" where Mercury and the rest of the band are in drag. The front man didn't even write the song, it was written by Queen bassist John Deacon.
China had previously announced that they were going to be doing some pretty heavy editing for their Bohemian Rhapsody release. Rami Malek's Academy Awards speech was also censored by China's Mango TV. Malek commended Freddie Mercury during his speech for being "a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life unapologetically as himself," before adding that people wanted to see these stories told on the big screen. Currently, the movie is only playing in select Chinese theaters.
China's strict policies on exhibiting LGBTQ content are no secret. Recently, Ridley Scott's Alien: Covenant was released in Chinese theaters, but it removed the scene where Michael Fassbender kisses himself. Some movies don't even end up getting screenings in the country for having too much gay material. Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain was never given a proper release in theaters and Call Me By Your Name was given a premiere, but it was pulled from the Beijing International Film Festival in 2017. With all of the editing, it's curious as to why they even decided to bring Bohemian Rhapsody to the big screen. The Chinese censoring of Bohemian Rhapsody was first reported by CNN.