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Chinese censor board bans LGBT scenes

Posted in Entertainment, Featured

Published on March 30, 2019 with No Comments

Six scenes of LGBT content were cut from Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), the biopic of British rock band, Queen, for the Chinese audience, including the word “gay”. The award-winning film, which opened in China on March 22, portrays the life and career of Queen front man, Freddie Mercury, an LGBT icon, who died of AIDSrelated illnesses at the age of 45. In 2016, Chinese censors banned the portrayal of “abnormal sexual behaviour”, including gay and lesbian relationships in TV and online shows.

The scenes include when Mercury’s long-time lover and friend Mary, finally confronts him about his sexuality. After the singer says, “I think I’m bisexual”, Mary answers, “No Freddie, you’re gay”. In the Chinese version, those two lines are removed. The biggest cut of them all is towards the end of the film, when Queen gets dressed up in women’s clothing to shoot the now legendary music video for I Want To Break Free. The Chinese release skips this and cuts to Queen’s heated reaction to MTV banning the music video, which viewers might find confusing. Homosexuality is not illegal in China and the authorities in 2001 removed it from the official list of mental disorders, but activists and experts agree that prejudices and discrimination — as well as periodic government crackdowns — persist.

 

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