Forget the debate over whether “gay” and “bisexual” can be colloquially synonymous: more controversy now swirls around Rami Malek’s Oscar speech after Chinese broadcasters censored it to remove all reference to homosexuality.
The broadcast site mgtv.com, a subsidiary of the Chinese company Mango TV, posted the speech following the Oscar ceremony on Sunday night, inaccurately translating the words “gay man” to “special group.” Malek won the Best Actor award for Bohemian Rhapsody, a film about the popular band Queen. Malek, in his speech, made reference to Queen singer Freddie Mercury, saying “we made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself.” The remarks also attracted the aforementioned criticism for Malek referring to Mercury as gay rather than bisexual.
This isn’t the first time Mango TV has come under fire for censoring references to the queer community. Last year, the broadcaster censored songs with references to homosexuality and blurred Pride flags during the Eurovision song contest. As a result, the telecom lost the right to broadcast the Eurovision festival.
Bohemian Rhapsody itself has come under fire for not featuring enough of Mercury’s sex life with men. Last year, Malek also came under fire for refusing to identify Mercury as a gay icon.