Rami Malek Defends Bohemian Rhapsody from Straight-Washing Critics

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Brendan Haley

Rami Malek just spoke up in defense of his upcoming film Bohemian Rhapsody, assuring fans that the Freddie Mercury biopic will indeed focus on the singer's sexuality and struggle with HIV/AIDS.

Malek, who's slated to portray Mercury this Fall, has finally added his voice to the tumultuous topic surrounding the film's handling of the iconic Queen singer's well-known bisexuality and accusations that the film is "straight-washing" Mercury's life story.

The previous trailers have revealed little to nothing about Mercury's relationship with men, as well as his struggle with HIV/AIDS toward the end of his life, leading many to believe the film is trying to "straight-wash" Mercury, and push aside topics relating to LGBT life.

"It’s a shame that people are making remarks after a minute teaser where you just wanna see the music," Malek said in a recent interview with Attitude. "It’s difficult. First, let me say that I don’t think the film shies away from his sexuality or his all-consuming disease, which is obviously AIDS. I don’t know how you could avoid any of that, or if anyone would ever want to. It’s a bit absurd that anyone’s judging this from a minute trailer."

The Emmy-winner continued:

"The film needed to approach it in a delicate manner. You can’t shy away from it. It was an important moment to have in the film, one that ultimately is very sad but also empowering in a way."

"This pandemic is still very much a horrific threat to so many people in the world. It exists as a reality for so many that I think it would be a shame not to address it."

After controversy over the last few months, audiences and fans will finally be able to judge for themselves whether or not Malek's words speak true—Bohemian Rhapsody is slated to hit theaters on November 2.

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