Chinese censors cut out Bohemian Rhapsody’s homosexual references

Hit Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (opens in new tab) has launched in China – but it’s been edited by censors.

CNN (opens in new tab) report that a total of six moments from the film have been removed, including a kiss between Mercury (Rami Malek) and Paul Prenter (Allen Leech), the word “gay”, while the whole of the I Want To Break Free scene has also been removed.

Other references to Mercury’s sexuality have also been removed or amended, including the scene where Mercury comes out to his then girlfriend Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) and a close up of Mercury’s crotch.

While homosexuality is legal in China, authorities in the country began to prohibit television shows containing references to same-sex relationships in 2016.

In November last year, censors in Malaysia were accused of heavily editing the film (opens in new tab) in light of their strict laws against homosexuality. That claim was later denied by Golden Screen Cinemas (opens in new tab)

Bohemian Rhapsody has received plaudits right across the board and has won a cabinet full of awards, including Golden Globes, BAFTAs and a haul of Oscars.

Earlier this month, it was reported that a sequel to Bohemian Rhapsody was “being discussed” by Queen.

Bohemian Rhapsody (opens in new tab)

Bohemian Rhapsody (opens in new tab)
The biggest music biopic of all time will receive its home release in March, starring Rami Malek, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello and Lucy Boynton.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.