On 24th February 2018, the world watched the big fat Oscar ceremony. As Remi Malek accepted his award for being the Best Actor for his film Bohemian Rhapsody, his acceptance speech was reportedly censored in China by Chinese streaming site Mango TV. "Listen, we made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life unapologetically himself," Malek said. In the video's translated version, however, Mango TV reportedly replaced 'gay man' with the phrase 'special group'. That created quite a stir.
Hence, it comes across as a pleasant surprise that Bohemian Rhapsody is getting a release in China. As per the China National Arthouse Film Alliance, the Freddie Mercury biopic is going to hit theatres in the country. China has had a history of restricting content displaying homosexuality, drug consumption and more, including the 2005 Academy Award-winning film Brokeback Mountain. Television and streaming services weren't spared from the censorship either. Although the release date is not confirmed yet, it is expected to release around mid-March. It is not known whether the film faces any censorship before the theatrical release as well. As per The Hollywood Reporter, almost a minute worth of visuals portraying consumption of drugs and Malek kissing his male co-stars would be chopped.
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Team Rami all the way! Last night @RamiMalek was awarded the Best Actor #Oscar and we couldn't be happier for him. #Repost @latimes
The film bagged a total of five Academy Awards this year. Apart from the Best Actor Award, Graham King won one for Best Picture, John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone and Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali respectively took home awards for Best Sound Editing and Sound Mixing, and John Ottman won the award for Best Film Editing.
Although Bohemian Rhapsody was a strong commercial success, it may not have an opening in too many theatres in China.