Bryan Fuller slates Bohemian Rhapsody trailer for 'queer erasure' and 'hetero-washing'

Ben Arnold
Bohemian Rhapsody (Credit: Fox)

While the trailer for Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody may have shown Rami Malek’s impressive visual transformation into Freddie Mercury, there’s simmering anger over what it didn’t show.

Bryan Fuller, the producer behind TV shows like Pushing Daisies, Hannibal and American Gods, has slammed it for failing to show Mercury’s well-documented bisexuality.

The trailer, which emerged online yesterday, shows Malek’s Mercury eyeing women in the crowd at early shows, but barely references the homosexuality that he later became an icon for – though there are a few frames where he is sat at a piano with in what could possibly be an impending clinch with another man.

Taking to Twitter, he accused the 20th Century Fox of ‘hetero-washing’ and ‘queer erasure’ in a series of scathing posts.

He also picked up on the Fox marketing spiel about the film, which refers to Mercury having a ‘life-threatening illness’, rather than specifying that he had AIDS.

In another exchange, Fuller said: “I feel what the trailer is doing is queer-erasure. If they were out and proud with his bi-sexuality they would have indicated he was bi-sexual. Showing him romantic with a woman, but not a man (3 frames don’t count) is not a celebration of bi-sexual identity. It’s hiding it.

“My point is for marketing people at Fox. FM is a queer artist. Showing him only romantic with a woman is erasing a huge facet of what made him a queer artist. You may know FM was bisexual, but most of America doesn’t. They see a man romantic with a woman. That does not say ‘bi’.”

The film has already had its fair share of controversy, without this latest row.

Director Bryan Singer was fired from the movie, at a time during which accusations of sexual misconduct against him that first emerged in 2014 had begun to resurface.

It was said that Singer had clashed with Malek, along with rumours of ‘on-set chaos’, with the director frequently absent.

Singer later said that Fox had refused to allow him leave to attend to a sick parent, and he was later replaced by British director Dexter Fletcher.

The movie is due out on October 24.

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