Trailer for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Film Accused of “Queer Erasure”

On Tuesday, the highly anticipated trailer for the Queen biopic was released, starring Rami Malek as the legendary frontman, Freddie Mercury.

While this has been an exciting announcement for many, there are some out there that are not too pleased with the trailer, including writer and producer, Bryan Fuller.

Bryan, whose work includes the television series’ Star Trek, Pushing Daisies and American Gods, criticised the trailer, specifically accusing it for being “#HETWASHING” (hetero-washing). That’s a new one, if we do say so ourselves.

Bryan posted on Twitter: “Anyone else mildly annoyed (enough to tweet about it) that the #BohemianRapsody trailer features gay/bi superstar Freddie Mercury flirting with and twirling with a woman but no indication of his love of men?”

However, not everyone agreed on his views, and some have said Bryan was disrespecting Freddie’s bisexual identity. Another Twitter user suggested that the filmmakers may be holding back any scenes surrounding his sexuality and death (due to AIDS), so they could “thrill” the audience. This didn’t convince Bryan though, and he replied that it was hetero-washing for the sake of marketing.

Still clearly annoyed about it, Fuller later shared a screenshot of the film’s YouTube channel, specifically highlighting the part in the description about Freddie facing a life-threatening illness.

“Dear 20th Century Fox,” he posted. “Yes, it was a life-threatening illness, but more specifically it was AIDS. From having gay sex with men. Do Better.”

“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.”

Bohemian Rhapsody is due to be released in the UK on October 24th. As well as Rami Malek starring as Freddie, it also stars Mike Myers, Allech Leech and Aidan Gillen. It’ll be interesting to see how they will replicate the stars that they’re playing in the full film, and we hope they won’t disappoint with their performances.

But back to the triggered liberal Bryan Fuller again – do you agree that the trailer (if you’ve seen it) is really “hetero-washing”, or is that even really a word? In marketing terms, perhaps they didn’t need to state the obvious in the trailer? Take a look!


<Story by Emily Clark>

Featured Photo Credit: Newsweek

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