The first teaser trailer for the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody was released this week, and fans have noticed something seems to be missing.
Mercury’s bisexuality is conspicuously absent, at least from the trailer, and the official video’s description on YouTube seems to downplay his death from AIDS-related complications, noting only “a life-threatening illness”.
Fans have taken to social media to air their complaints about the trailer’s overlooking elements of Mercury’s life, calling it erasure and straightwashing.
“Apparently the new Freddie Mercury biopic leaves out the very notable part that he had AIDS. I wonder if they’ll also gloss over the fact that he was bisexual like everyone else does,” tweeted one person.
“I was really fired up for this Bohemian Rhapsody movie until they decided it wasn’t important that Freddie Mercury was bisexual and died of AIDS,” posted another.
Television writer and producer Bryan Fuller, known for Hannibal and American Gods, called out the trailer, tweeting, “Yes, it was a life-threatening illness, but more specifically it was AIDS. From having gay sex with men. Do better.”
Influential rock icon Mercury died in 1991, aged 45.
Bohemian Rhapsody‘s story takes place over 15 years, from Queen’s formation to their performance at benefit concert Live Aid in 1985.
Sacha Baron Cohen was originally slated to star as Mercury before leaving the production over creative differences, including his desire to focus the film honestly on the singer’s life and his battle with AIDS.
The film is set for a November 1 release in Australia.
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) May 15, 2018
Petition to require that all showings of Bohemian Rhapsody have a person stand up and announce
"FREDDY MERCURY WAS INDIAN.
HE WAS BISEXUAL.
AND HE DIED OF AIDS WHILE POWERFUL PEOPLE IGNORED THE EPIDEMIC.
ENJOY THE FILM."
— Lela Gwenn C U @ Heroes! (@LGwenn) May 16, 2018
Apparently the new Freddie Mercury biopic leaves out the very notable part that he had AIDS. I wonder if they’ll also gloss over the fact he was bisexual like everyone else does. #BohemianRhapsody
— Erik-James (@ErikJamesC) May 16, 2018
I was really fired up for this Bohemian Rhapsody movie until they decided it wasn’t important that Freddie Mercury was bisexual and died of AIDS.
— kristyn 🌻 (@kristyn__) May 16, 2018
The Bohemian Rhapsody film says “the only thing more extraordinary than the music is his life” but y’all ain’t planning on filming any gay shit? For a bisexual icon who was a sex addict & a victim of HIV? I love you @ItsRamiMalek but I may have to pass
— Grandma Sexy (@acciohollymae) May 15, 2018