‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to be released in China – without any homosexual content

The Queen biopic will be censored for its release in the country

Bohemian Rhapsody is to be shown in China without any scenes of a homosexual nature, it has been reported.

The Queen biopic tells the story of the band and frontman Freddie Mercury up to their infamous 1985 Live Aid appearance and features scenes that see the star kissing other men.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, that footage will be cut from the Chinese release, along with those depicting drug use.

The release comes as a surprise due to the country’s history of blocking content featuring gay characters. The film will only be given a limited release at present, with it expected to begin screening in mid-March. However, if it proves popular with cinema-goers, it could be picked up for a wider release.

Rami Malek won Best Actor for his role as Mercury at last weekend’s Oscars (February 24). China has been criticised for censoring his acceptance speech, with subtitles translating “gay man” to “special group”.

While collecting the award, the actor said the film’s success showed “we’re longing for stories like this.” “We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself,” he said.

Bohemian Rhapsody took home the most awards of the night on Sunday, including Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing. It was also nominated for Best Picture but lost out to Green Book.

The film was criticised for “straightwashing” Mercury after a teaser video was released. Lucy Boynton, who plays the star’s former fiancée Mary Austin, later hit back at the criticisms, calling them “frustrating.”