These 10 scenes from Bohemian Rhapsody didn’t make it past China’s censors

Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody

Oscar-winning Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, hit cinemas in China last week.

But, the country’s renowned censors removed or altered 10 scenes.

Most of the scenes contained same-sex romance or reference to the singer’s bisexuality.

The total cuts amount to three minutes, according to China-based movie blogger, Basseon.

The Queen biopic tells the story of the band and frontman Freddie Mercury up to their iconic 1985 Live Aid appearance.

It took home five Oscars earlier this year. The Academy named Rami Malek, who plays Mercury, as Best Actor.

A TV station in China was criticized for censoring Malek’s acceptance speech. Subtitles replaced ‘gay man’ with ‘special group.’

China legalized gay sex in 1997 and removed it from the list of mental illnesses in 2001.

But, in a conservative and family-orientated society, many LGBTI Chinese live in the closet. Same-sex marriage is also illegal.

China’s Netcasting Service Association (CNSA) officially banned LGBT content from China’s internet in June 2017.

CNSA labeled homosexuality ‘abnormal sexual behavior’.

More than 24 minutes of LGBTI scenes were cut when the film was released in Malaysia

Freddie’s gyrating

The first cut comes after 23 minutes, according to Basseon.

BBC TV producers are watching Mercury’s live performance of Killer Queen.

Mercury gyrating (Photo: screenshot)

Mercury gyrating (Photo: screenshot)

The producer thinks Mercury’s gyrating hips are too much for the audience. He tells the camera person to stop filming Mercury’s crotch.

China’s censors obviously agreed and cut the footage from showing on the producer’s monitor.

First kiss

Censors, perhaps predictably, cut Mercury’s first kiss with Paul Prenter.

Obviously, the surrounding dialogue would not make much sense without the actual kiss. So, they cut that too.

They left in the final moment of the scene where Prenter grabs Mercury’s chin and says ‘is that what you think?’

I think I’m bisexual

Nearly an hour into the movie, Mercury tells his girlfriend Mary Austin he thinks he’s bisexual.

‘Freddie, you’re gay’ she responds. Austin then breaks off their engagement.

The censored version reportedly cuts out any talk about sexuality and goes straight to the break-up, leaving audiences to guess at why the pair might have abruptly seperated.

Mercury looking 'gayer' (Photo: Screenshot)

Mercury looking ‘gayer’ (Photo: Screenshot)


A few minutes later in the film, Roger Taylor tells Mercury his new mustache and haircut looks ‘gay-er’.

This got cut too.

Party time

China’s censors also didn’t think Mercury’s behavior at his party was appropriate.

They cut the few seconds where he kisses a man on the cheek then slaps a woman on the behind.

Freddie Mercury at the party (Photo: Screenshot)

Freddie Mercury at the party (Photo: Screenshot)

Come and find me when you decide to like yourself

At the end of the party, Mercury starts talking to Jim Hutton, who became his long-time partner.

As you might have guessed from the previous cut, China’s censors cut the bit where Mercury grabs Hutton’s bottom.

They also cut the same-sex kiss. They left, however, Hutton’s last line: ‘Come and find me when you decide you like yourself.’

Lack of sexuality

In the press conference scene, a reporter asks ‘could you tell us about the rumors concerning your sexuality’.

Subtitles at China’s cinemas translate ‘sexuality’ to ‘sex life’.

I want to break free (Photo: Screenshot)

I want to break free (Photo: Screenshot)

Break Free

Censors cut the whole section of the cross-dressing Break Free music video.

It is perhaps the most ruthless cut of the whole film.

‘I’ve got it’

One of the most poignant moments of the movie is when Mercury tells his bandmates he has AIDS.

According to Basseon, while the scene itself is not cut, censors cut the sound and provide no subtitles for the emotional scene.

Freddie and Jim (Photo: Screenshot)

Freddie and Jim (Photo: Screenshot)

Freddie and Jim

A final heart-breaking cut was made just before the end credits.

The real-life photo of Mercury and Hutton (with a cat) and the words ‘Freddie and Jim enjoyed a loving relationship for the remainder of Freddie’s life’ was cut.

Author: Rik Glauert

The post These 10 scenes from Bohemian Rhapsody didn’t make it past China’s censors appeared first on Gay Star News.

Finally, a raunchy teen comedy with an LGBTI protagonist

Still of the teen comedy movie Booksmart

Raunchy comedies are a staple of the teen movie genre. Think of the likes of Superbad, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, or American Pie. What’s lacking in these movies, however, is any good LGBTI representation.

Actor Olivia Wilde is changing that with her directorial debut, Booksmart.

Booksmart follows two teen best friends, Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein, who appeared in the critically acclaimed teen movie Lady Bird), and their final days of high school. They’ve spent their entire high school careers focused on their education and getting into a good college.

Now, they’re ready to break some rules.

Amy is not straight — and the trailer has no problem embracing that.

‘She’s got a really cute smile,’ Amy says about another girl at their high school.

Suddenly Molly is at her side with encouragement: ‘Do you know how many girls are going to be up your vagina next year? Every time I come to visit you, you’re going to be scissoring a different girl.’

Which is when Amy tells Molly matter-of-factly that scissoring is not a thing. ‘Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it,’ Molly responds.

Booksmart premiered at the festival South by Southwest this weekend to rave reviews.

‘I really wanted to direct a movie for younger people to kind of be a generational anthem. I really benefited from watching those movies — everything from Fast Times to Clueless to Dazed and Confused,’ Wilde told Variety.

‘They really helped us contextualize the experience of being young, being a kid, being different. And I wanted to make something like that for this generation.’

Wilde is best known for playing bisexual doctor Thirteen on House and appearing in movies like Drinking Buddies and Tron: Legacy.

She also cast her fiancé, Jason Sudeikis, in Booksmart.

See also

Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan spotted on set of lesbian romance Ammonite

New movie Giant Little Ones authentically depicts sex, consent, and assault among LGBTI teens

Julianne Moore reveals she was fired from an acclaimed LGBTI film

Author: Anya Crittenton

The post Finally, a raunchy teen comedy with an LGBTI protagonist appeared first on Gay Star News.

New movie Giant Little Ones authentically depicts sex, consent, and assault among LGBTI teens

Teen movies about self-discovery and navigating high school, friends, romance, and sexuality are nothing new. More and more there is more diversity among these films, as well, such as last year’s Love, Simon and Alex Strangelove.

Giant Little Ones is a new film in this genre, but one that stands above the rest. It is authentic in its exploration of both sexuality and gender identity amongst teenagers. It develops as a story that is all at once harsh and tender, but ultimately, most importantly, empathetic.

Written and directed by Keith Behrman, the film follows two best friends — Franky and Ballas — and the night that changes the course of their relationship.

It explores themes of sexual assault and consent, bullying, coming out, and grappling with identity, both within yourself and others. One of Franky’s biggest arcs in the film is coming to terms with his dad leaving his mom after his dad came out as gay.

GSN spoke to Taylor Hickson who plays Natasha in the film. Natasha is Ballas’ younger sister and Franky’s confidante who carries her own trauma.

Discovering the freedom to love

Hickson says she was drawn to this film because it felt ‘different’.

‘It’s so hard to make art different these days,’ she explains.

This movie to her is about ‘love without labels’, although not just love itself, but the experience of love. It explores numerous types of love — between parent and child, between friends, or romantic love.

‘People are stuck in old ideas and traditions of what they think love should be, so we’re trying to bring to light that it has nothing to do with who you love,’ Hickson says.

She wants LGBTI youth to see this film and find freedom.

‘I hope this can help them feel ok and human,’ she says thoughtfully. ‘They’re allowed to explore and experiment and be themselves.’

Hickson knows it’s easier said than done, because it starts with learning to love yourself.

‘That’s a really, really hard thing to do, especially for a teenager,’ she concedes. She has nothing but empathy for LGBTI youth struggling with this as she admits it was a big part of her own journey.

Taylor Hickson in Giant Little Ones

Natasha talks to Franky about boundaries and consent | Photo: YouTube/Verticle Entertainment

Sexual assault and ‘trapped mindsets’

Consent and sexual assault is a big theme in the movie. Refreshingly, it is never shown or exploited, but its aftermath is felt throughout the film and depicted with patience and compassion.

The movie deliberately does not show what happens between Franky and Ballas — or if there was consent. Viewers also learn that Natasha is dealing with her own trauma from sexual assault.

For Hickson, this was an important topic to engage with on film.

‘One thing I’ve noticed a lot is that people, women especially, are afraid to use the words “rape” or “sexual assault”. There’s this mentality that rape happens to other people, but not them. It’s a trapped mindset,’ she says.

It also happens to LGBTI youth, she adds, as the movie potentially explores. And in the time of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, it feels more relevant than ever.

In one of the film’s most poignant scenes, Natasha and Franky discuss consent and having to heal before having sex, if ever.

Hickson reveals she empathized a lot with this scene because it was so personal for her.

‘I was at a point where something happened to me and I carried it into my next relationship,’ she says. ‘And I had to be honest with myself that in order to have healthy relationships, I had to deal with it first, and to do that I had to give myself time.

‘To have that understanding and playing Natasha at her young age was profound. Thinking back, I was only 17 or 18 when that happened for me.’

Josh Wiggins as Franky in the movie Giant Little Ones

Josh Wiggins as Franky in Giant Little Ones | Photo: YouTube/Vertical Entertainment

Breaking out of gender stereotypes

Hickson sees the potential for Hollywood, and people consuming media, to reject society’s stereotypical gender expectations, like pitting women against each other and toxic masculinity.

‘Women have to support each other and lift each other up. Now more than ever, we have to celebrate and encourage each other,’ she says firmly.

It can be especially egregious on social media: ‘One thing that has to be learned is self-awareness. If you’re seeing something that’s triggering or makes you feel bad, you need to unfollow. It kills your own self-image.’

She also wants men and roles for me to reject toxic masculinity.

‘There’s a guardedness around masculinity. I want men to feel like they can emote and be vulnerable. That’s why I’m so excited to see a trend of new roles where men have the ability to be vulnerable.’

Giant Little Ones is out now.

See also

Top Marvel exec says ‘world is ready’ for a gay lead superhero

Call Me By Your Name director helming queer HBO coming-of-age series

Author: Anya Crittenton

The post New movie Giant Little Ones authentically depicts sex, consent, and assault among LGBTI teens appeared first on Gay Star News.