Bryan Fuller Slams ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Trailer for ‘Hetwashing’
Bryan Fuller has made a name for himself as one of the most unapologetically inclusive directors and creators around, never shying away from depicting different forms of sexuality in his work. Which is why the trailer for Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody gave him pause, because while Freddie Mercury historically had relationships with both men and women, the trailer — and synopsis — for the movie makes him seem pretty heterosexual.
Fuller called out 20th Century Fox on Twitter after the trailer premiered online, accusing them of “hetwashing” Freddie Mercury and glossing over the fact that the “life-threatening illness” vaguely mentioned in the movie’s description was AIDS.
It’s possible that the trailer was cut to include less than one second of a possible allusion to something other than heterosexuality just to appeal to as broad an audience as it could, though if that’s true, it’s a shame that Fox felt compelled to do it that way. It’s also possible that the movie itself sugarcoats Freddie Mercury’s life which, if true, would be irresponsible. The movie has had a few ups and downs, with Sacha Baron Cohen’s version of the story axed years ago by the remaining members of the band because their ideal version of the movie didn’t line up with how he wanted to do it. I do hope that Bohemian Rhapsody has the guts not to “hetwash” history.
Bohemian Rhapsody opens in theaters on November 2.