The South Korean broadcaster SBS is under fire after it censored parts of the 2018 Freddie Mercury and Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody starring Rami Malek that revealed its gay storyline.
The movie was aired as part of a Lunar New Year marathon, UPI reports: “It is rare for a South Korean broadcaster to show a film with homosexual references. SBS cut out kiss scenes between Mercury and Jim Hutton, whom Mercury referred to as his husband. SBS also overlapped mosaics to obscure images of other gay couples kissing in the background.”
The Korea Herald reported that the film “reached the highest viewership share of all movies shown on TV during the Seollal holidays”
Said the broadcaster to the Korea Herald: “The kissing scenes are very long. For the blurred out scene, it was while music was playing so we couldn’t take it out. We didn’t have any special intention in editing. Even if it were a kissing scene between a man and a woman, if the scene is too risque or continues for a long period of time, making us feel that it could be uncomfortable for the families watching together, we would have edited similarly.”
YouTubers and LGBTQ activists Kim and Backpack in South Korea have launched a “#BohemianKissChallenge online in response to the censorship.