Wasilla High School Bans Jazz Choir’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Performance Because Freddie Mercury Was Gay

The jazz choir at Wasilla High School (yes, that Wasilla) in Alaska was told last week that they couldn't sing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" at the high school graduation. The reason?

Wasilla WHS Principal Dwight Probasco reportedly had received complaints from at least one parent that the 1975 hit written by Freddie Mercury wasn’t appropriate for the ceremony simply because Mercury was gay.

“The whole thing was just ridiculous,” senior Rachel Clark said Monday. “They’d played the song on the school intercom and we played it at prom. It’s a great song and the choir was really excited to be singing it. And the senior class felt like it defined them.” Choir member Casey Hight, a junior, was angry enough to contact a gay and lesbian support organization in Anchorage for help. They told her to contact an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Probasco, who Gawker notes is a dead ringer for Elton John, has now decided to allow the song to be played because he is afraid of the ACLU, as he should be. The choir won't be able to sing one lyric about killing a man, however.

(the frontiersman via gawker, image via adm on flickr)

Comments

  1. Gigi says

    Afraid of the ACLU in Palinville? Surely he could call up the Mamma Grizzly and ask her for help. Or is she in Iowa pretending to be considering a run for President. Perhaps they could appeal for her help via twitter.

  2. Justin L Werner says

    Well, this is illuminating. We can certainly see the social background that “informs” Sarah Palin’s “thinking”. The stupid…. it burns!

  3. Francis says

    Sadly, it’s not just Wasilla, this is more about the completely obvious generational differences and extreme paranoia that social conservatives have towards anything and everything gay. You can’t play a song for graduation because the singer was gay? What does that even mean? How ridiculous will homophobes get?

  4. Bart says

    Do they read Walt Whitman in English? I wonder if all the spring muscials they do are screened to see if they had a gay lyricist?

    I guess if Freddie Mercury were a meth addict, he would have been given an honorary key to the city? Or maybe if he had a child out of wedlock at 16, he would be celebrated.

    Fire this idiot principal. He’s too ridiculous to be in charge of teenagers, who are far smarter than this ass wipe.

  5. Codswallop says

    Oh, come on. This is even more than usually stupid, and the stupid level was already at “I can’t put on shoes without Velcro!”

  6. kodiak says

    If the principle, who the article said looks like Elton John, resembles
    a prominent, out, gay man and parent, perhaps the principle should
    be forced to resign and surrender his children to adoption services.
    After all, we don’t want the children to get the idea that someone looking like a gay man, etc…

    What the hell is in the drinking water up there?

  7. Gene says

    So who was the one parent? Ms. Sarah P herself? I’ve heard ridiculous, but this is totally ludicrous. But, in Wasilla, it’s OK to shoot an elk from a helicopter, but Freddie Mercury, Tchaikofsky, Walt Whitman, Elton John, Little Richard, Cole Porter…. are all off limits. Get out the fire hoses.

  8. DC says

    I bet you a gazillion dollars they blare the Gary Glitter song “Rock and Roll Pt. 2″ during sport events. Idiots! I realize that the song became popular a couple of decades before his convictions over abusing children, but the fact that it is still played at games and considered a sports anthem baffles me. It was drugged out Glam rock back then, and the guy who wrote it has since been imprisoned for assault. Think about that the next time your team scores a goal. “Hey!!!!”

  9. ratbastard says

    This whole ‘incident’ smells. Sounds like a set-up from the beginning, possibly involving the school officials themselves. ‘Ban’ a ‘gay’ song, create controversy and attention to the ‘plight’ of gays in ‘conservative’ Wasilla and Alaska, etc.

    Most school officials, teachers, and of course teacher’s unions [who really call the shots] are ‘progressive’, with more than their share of ‘radical’ progressives.

    One parent[?] complained? A few? None of this story makes any sense. It’s also possible ‘progressive’ school officials deliberately ‘banned’ the song after one or a few [I doubt if it was even a few] complaints simply to create drama and attention for the gay ’cause’.

    My opinion. Just because you don’t like doesn’t make it ‘trolling’. Deal with it.

  10. bobbyjoe says

    This incident sounds strangely like a real-life version of some television show, let’s see, what’s the name of it…? Is the coach at this school perhaps named Sue Sylvester?

  11. Dback says

    I’d actually support cutting the opening lines about shooting someone, considering the performance context–but the fact that people were more worked about about Mercury’s gayness than that line is telling. (See: the story about the statue of David in Texas.)

  12. Henry Holland says

    “Think about that the next time your team scores a goal”

    Nope, I’ll be too busy going nuts when the LA Kings score to bother with that crap. As others have pointed out, if we get rid of songs/pieces of music written by people who didn’t live good, upstanding morally correct lives like you obviously do –wouldn’t want to be a hypocrite now would you?– we’d be hearing f-ing crickets most of the time. R&R Part 2 is fantastic, it will always be fantastic, I don’t give a damn about the particulars of its creators life long after the song was created.

  13. Dorishin says

    such ignorance….what will they perform that hasn’t had some gay person attached to it at some point? Writing, recording, editing or marketing.
    What about Classical music? no Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, Cole Porter, Aaron Copeland, Telemann, Poulenc, Saint-Saens, Samuel Barber, or Tschaikovsky???
    Will they study the art and genius of Michelangelo or da Vinci???

    Wake up and spend your energy on more important things like literacy and graduation rates. How about getting our educational system up to global standards. We were number 1 years ago, now we are 18th out of 36 nations worldwide. WORRY ABOUT THAT!!!

  14. ratbastard says

    @MATTHEW RETTENMUND,

    –Matthew,

    Want to know a little secret? ‘Activists’ [right, left, whatever] LIE and DECIEVE all the time. Paid shills or true believers, hardcore ‘activists’ will pull all kinds of stunts and so-called dirty tricks. They will even [gasp!] create faux incidents and drama for their cause.

    Time to grow up, Matthew.

  15. Hue-Man says

    I must admit that when I hear “We Will Rock You” or “We are the Champions” play in hockey arenas I have to smile to myself. If only they knew.

  16. Chris says

    Gotta love the sign no *loaded* guns.
    So, guns are allowed? Just so long as they aren’t loaded when they cross the door?

    Oh btw no singing about the gun or what it does either.

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