Bohemian Rhapsody Drastically Censored in China
The Queen biography Bohemian Rhapsody came to cinemas almost everywhere in the world last year and has earned nearly $900 million so far - more than any other cinematic biography before it. And 4 Oscars came on top in February 2019. What was missing was a release in the second largest market in the world: China. Unfortunately, the media presentation of homosexuality is a taboo in the country, even if it is shown cautiously, as in this film. This aspect of Freddie Mercury's private life receives less attention in the film, also due to the PG-13 release. A fact that has been criticized by many Queen fans.
In China, they simply got rid of the “problem” by rigorously shortening every hint of homosexuality or changing dialogues. When a reporter originally asks Freddie about his sexual preferences, thus wanting to know whether he is hetero-, bi- or homosexual, this was simply translated as "sex life". When Freddie tells his girlfriend Mary that he's bisexual, it is just cut off in China. Mary's answer that Freddie isn't bisexual but gay, is missing, of course. When Freddie tells the band that he has AIDS, the film is briefly muted in China so that the word AIDS isn't said.
It was also cut how Freddie gets to know his later partner Jim Hutton, which causes confusion later on when Hutton plays an important role in Freddie's life. Of course, all kisses were also cut. Also, the recordings of the video shoot for "I want to break free", in which the Queen members can be seen in women's clothes, were completely removed.
With these and other cuts, the film annoyed many cinemagoers in China, because the success at the box offices there is limited. Most Queen fans apparently know at least the important details of Freddie Mercury's private life, but were then confronted with a film that sometimes doesn't make sense.