Rami Malek responds to claims that ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ movie ignores Freddie Mercury’s sexuality

The film had been accused of 'queer-erasure'

Rami Malek has responded to claims that upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody whitewashes over the Queen frontman’s sexuality.

The film, which will see the Mr. Robot star portraying Mercury, is currently set for a UK release on October 24. It’ll chronicle the 15-year period between Queen’s formation as a band and their famous performance at Live Aid at Wembley Stadium in 1985.

However when the first trailer emerged, the movie came under fire from writer and producer Bryan Fuller for not paying mind to his bisexuality.

“Anyone else mildly annoyed (enough to tweet about it) that the #BohemianRapsody (sic) trailer features gay/bi superstar Freddie Mercury flirting with and twirling with a woman but no indication of his love of men?,” he wrote on Twitter, spurring on echoes of more criticism from fans and followers.

He added: “I feel what the trailer is doing is queer-erasure. If they were out and proud with his bi-sexuality they would have indicated he was bi-sexual.

“Showing him romantic with a woman, but not a man (3 frames don’t count) is not a celebration of bi-sexual identity. It’s hiding it.”

Now in a new interview with Attitude, Malek has argued that the film will paint a full portrait of the rock icon.

“It’s a shame that people are making remarks after a minute teaser where you just wanna see the music. It’s difficult,” said Malek. “First, let me say that I don’t think the film shies away from his sexuality or his all-consuming disease, which is obviously AIDS. I don’t know how you could avoid any of that, or if anyone would ever want to. It’s a bit absurd that anyone’s judging this from a minute trailer.”

Elaborating on how the biopic addresses Mercury’s battle with HIV, he added: “The film needed to approach it in a delicate manner. You can’t shy away from it. It was an important moment to have in the film, one that ultimately is very sad but also empowering in a way.

“It shows you just how resilient human beings can be and how much we rely on the strength of our friends and family to get us through tough times. This pandemic is still very much a horrific threat to so many people in the world. It exists as a reality for so many that I think it would be a shame not to address it.”

Bohemian Rhapsody hits cinemas on October 24 in the UK and November 2 in the US.

It was also announced this week that the film will receive a premiere at Wembley Arena – next door to where the band played one of their most legendary gigs at Wembley Stadium.