The head of Malaysia's censorship board, Mohd Zamberi Abdul Aziz, has confirmed that the country has cut out all gay scenes from Bohemian Rhapsody. It is against the law to have homosexual relations in the country, and Abdul Aziz had no problem explaining why they cut the scenes out of the Queen biopic. The argument has been completely different in North America, with Freddie Mercury fans complaining that the movie did not show enough of the front man's personal life off stage.
Several scenes from Bohemian Rhapsody featuring Freddie Mercury in same-sex situations were omitted. The result is a movie that is several minutes shorter than the rest of the world is seeing, along with it getting the equivalent of an R-rating in that country. The movie has a PG-13 rating in North America. Mohd Zamberi Abdul Aziz says that they cut out "four scenes" from Bohemian Rhapsody. He explains.
"(Scenes that) involved moments such as men kissing each other, men rubbing each other, and a group of men in dresses partying in a mansion. Another scene removed was the post credit scene which stated Freddie Mercury and Jim Hutton lived a happy life because it showed that they were in a gay relationship... anything related to LGBT or promoting it will not be approved."
Mohd Zamberi Abdul Aziz claims that they only cut about three minutes out of Bohemian Rhapsody, but moviegoers say that it's more like twenty minutes, which is pretty significant. Abdul Aziz would not go into further detail about the cuts, claiming that, "It will raise more arguments due to our different views." Abdul Aziz states that many people in Malaysia agree with the decision to cut out the same-sex scenes in the movie.
Malaysia's censorship laws prohibit movies and television shows from showing anything having to do with LGBTQ. Bohemian Rhapsody was recently cleared to be screened in the country after the gay scenes were removed. Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast recently came under fire for including an openly gay character in Malaysia, which led to a temporary ban. An art installation that had LGBTQ elements was recently shut down in the country as well. Additionally, government officials ordered the removal of a rainbow flag from an exhibit at the George Town Festival in Penang.
Malaysia has banned same-sex relationships and cross-dressing. The country offers gay conversion therapy, and claims that they have "cured" nearly 1,500 people since they started the practice. Over the last decade, the country has seen a hard turn against equal rights, noting that the LGBTQ lifestyle stems from "Western values." Bohemian Rhapsody tells the story of one of the biggest rock bands on the planet, but all of the gay scenes had to be cut to satisfy the Malaysian government. It makes one wonder why they just didn't ban the movie all together. This news was originally reported by Malay Mail.