Bryan Fuller Calls Out 'Bohemian Rhapsody' Biopic For 'Hiding' Freddie Mercury's Sexuality

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury and Gwilym Lee as Brian May in Twentieth Century Fox’s 'BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY.'
Alex Bailey

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury and Gwilym Lee as Brian May in Twentieth Century Fox’s 'BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY.'

When the trailer for the upcoming Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Mr. Robot’s Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, was released on Tuesday (May 15), fans rejoiced at getting a sneak peak at the long-awaited film. But one fan, and a number of others, saw something that they found upsetting.

Showrunner Bryan Fuller took to Twitter on Tuesday to express his frustration with the trailer, saying that what he saw appeared to erase Mercury’s queerness. “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,” he wrote.

In the trailer, Malek’s Mercury is seen flirting and dancing with a woman, assumed to be Mary Austin, to whom the star was in a relationship with for six years. There is also a brief moment where we see him interacting closely with a man, who some have speculated is Paul Prenter, Mercury’s long-time personal manager who eventually leaked the news of Mercury’s contraction of AIDS to the press.

Some fans were quick to point out that because all we’ve seen is simply a trailer, the marketing team at 20th Century Fox may be holding back on including major plot details. Fuller said that he thought it was something different entirely. “It’s #HETWASHING for marketing sakes,” he said, later adding, “I feel what the trailer is doing is queer-erasure … 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.”

Fuller also went on to detail that not only was Mercury’s bisexuality not referenced in the trailer’s footage, but 20th Century Fox even refused to acknowledge the iconic singer’s contraction of the AIDS virus in the official plot synopsis. “Facing a life-threatening illness, Freddie leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music,” the synopsis reads, referencing the band’s historic Live Aid performance in 1985.

“DEAR 20TH CENTURY FOX,” Fuller tweeted, with a photo of the film’s synopsis included. “Yes, it was a life-threatening illness, but more specifically it was AIDS. From having gay sex with men. Do better.”

Watch the full trailer for Bohemian Rhapsody below: