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‘Bohemian Rhapsody’: Bryan Fuller Slams Fox For Ignoring Freddie Mercury’s Sexuality and AIDS Diagnosis in Trailer and Synopsis

The "Hannibal" and "Pushing Daisies" creator is calling out 20th Century Fox for "heterosexual-washing" the upcoming Freddie Mercury movie, starring Rami Malek.

Bryan Fuller and “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Shutterstock/20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox debuted the first trailer for its Freddie Mercury drama “Bohemian Rhapsody” to much hype from movie lovers and Queen fans (the YouTube video has over 1 million views in less than seven hours). The rock drama stars Rami Malek as the legendary Queen frontman, but not everyone is happy about how the movie studio is marketing the film. Bryan Fuller, best known for creating television series like “Hannibal,” “Pushing Daises,” and “American Gods,” is accusing Fox of “heterosexual-washing” Mercury’s story in the “Bohemian Rhapsody” trailer and synopsis.

“Anyone else mildly annoyed that the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ trailer features gay/bi superstar Freddie Mercury flirting with and twirling with a woman but no indication of his love of men?” Fuller asked his 152,000 Twitter followers.

One Twitter user noticed that a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot in the trailer features Mercury alone with a man in a recording studio, but Fuller said the trailer blatantly prioritizes one sexuality (heterosexuality) over the other (homosexuality). Several Twitter users criticized Fuller for labeling Mercury as gay when the musician identified as bisexual, but again Fuller said that the trailer wasn’t prioritizing the singer’s bisexuality and leaning more into his relationship with women.

Fuller also took issue with Fox’s official synopsis for the movie. The text describes the plot as tracing “the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound, their near-implosion as Mercury’s lifestyle spirals out of control, and their triumphant reunion on the eve of Live Aid, where Mercury, facing a life-threatening illness, leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music.” Fuller slammed Fox for leaving out the singer’s AIDS diagnosis from the synopsis.

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

“Bohemian Rhapsody” opens in theaters November 2. IndieWire has reached out to Fox for comment.

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