‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ faces cuts from Malaysian censors amid strict homosexuality laws

"You won’t fully understand if you watch it in Malaysia"

Bohemian Rhapsody has reportedly faced massive cuts from censors in Malaysia, in order to appease the country’s strict laws on homosexuality.

The Queen biopic was released last month and sees Rami Malek star as legendary frontman Freddie Mercury.

Although the film places a strong emphasis on Mercury’s relationship with lifelong companion Mary Austin and his battles with his own sexuality, it seems that Malaysian audiences won’t get to experience the integral scenes that are included in the film. It’s reported that 24 minutes have ended up on the cutting room floor.

Instead, the Malay Mail reports that censors have removed a key moment where Mercury explains to Mary Austin that he is bisexual. Another scene that sees the band in drag for the 1984 video to ‘I Want To Break Free’ has also been removed.

Posting on Twitter, one fan explained how they’d been faced with the cuts as they sat down to watch the film in a Malaysian cinema.

“Disclaimer for watching #BohemianRhapsody in Malaysia: they cut out ALL the gay scenes thus leaving out HUGE PLOT HOLES”, they wrote. I watched it in both Singapore & Malaysia & I realise you won’t fully understand if you watch it in Malaysia. Recommend to watch someplace else!!”

Another said: “In Malaysia the runtime for Bohemian Rhapsody is 110 minutes with an 18+ rating while in the rest of the world it’s 134 minutes with a PG-13 rating. We straightwashed an already straightwashed movie and it’s still not appropriate.”

Acts of homosexuality are punishable in Malaysia under federal law.

Meanwhile, it was recently confirmed that Bohemian Rhapsody has officially claimed the second biggest box office opening of all time for a music biopic – despite receiving mixed reviews. On its opening weekend in North America, it took $50 million (£38.3 million), while its international figures totalled $72 million (£55.2 million).