Rami Malek, Who Plays Freddie Mercury in Movie, Refuses to Say Freddie Mercury Was a Gay Icon

It is common knowledge that Queen frontman and rock legend Freddie Mercury is one of the great queer icons.

Only, it appears the actor who plays him in a new movie isn’t aware of this.

At a press event for Fox’s flashy Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, INTO Magazine asked star Rami Malek if he sees Freddie Mercury as a gay icon. His response was awkward at best, insulting and disgraceful at worst:

“I think the way—what’s really great about him is that he never wanted to or thought about himself as being boxed into anything.”

He continued, awkwardly:

“If he’s an icon to one, there’s no reason it requires another adjective, as far as I see it…'icon,’ I think, encompasses whatever, the way you identify, I think.”

Mercury definitely had sexual relationships with men. Some say Mercury was somewhat fluid, and others today say he was openly gay among those knew him.

Mercury was in a long-term relationship with Mary Austin in the 1970s. He had an affair with a man, and that ended the romantic relationship with Austin, though they stayed friends until Mercury’s death.

It’s more than worth mentioning that sexual activity between men over the age of 21 in the UK was only decriminalized in 1967, when Mercury was 21 years old.

Mercury was in a long-term relationship with Jim Hutton from 1985 to 1991. Mercury died of AIDS in Kensington in November 1991.

Though Malek’s performance as Mercury has been mostly praised, Bohemian Rhapsody is getting a mixed-to-negative response from critics. As of this writing, it holds a mere 49% “Rotten” score on Rotten Tomatoes. It holds the same weighted score of 49 on Metacritic, indicating “mixed or average reviews.”

Bohemian Rhapsody is the work of at least three different directors. Bryan Singer was fired during production due to bad behavior. He was replaced with Eddie the Eagle’s Dexter Fletcher. It is also reported that the movie's cinematographer stepped in to direct some while Singer repeatedly didn't show up to the set of the movie Fox inexplicably, inexcusably hired him to direct. What a disgrace and embarrassment.

Where do you stand on all this? Will you see Bohemian Rhapsody, or will better use your time by just listening to Queen’s music at home and going to see some of the many movies that are actually getting good reviews this holiday season? Let me know in the comments. Thanks.

h/t: Pink NewsINTO



This post was created by one of our contributing writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other contributing writers when it comes to this subject.

6 thoughts on “Rami Malek, Who Plays Freddie Mercury in Movie, Refuses to Say Freddie Mercury Was a Gay Icon”

  1. i grew up being a Big Queen

    i grew up being a Big Queen fan, Seeing the band on tour, it was clear Freddie was gay! and no one who loved the music cared because it was Outstanding performances that will last for centuries.  It also helped me accept who I am… long live Queen!, we miss ya Freddie!

  2. Was he a gay icon? No; he was

    Was he a gay icon? No; he was a rock god.

    IS he a gay icon? Yes; in the same way that Cher, Judy Garland, and so many others are.

  3. Freddie Mercury is an icon,

    Freddie Mercury is an icon, there’s no reason it requires another adjective (or maybe "rock icon", because he was famous for singing rock music). I think Malek doesn't label him as a gay icon because neither Mercury came out, nor he militated for LGBT's right or openly spoke about it. If he is a gay icon only because of his sexuality, so Alan Turing and Julius Caesar are also gay icons in my opinion.

  4. Documentaries are usually

    Documentaries are usually better than these biographical films (with a few exceptions, like "Gandhi" or "The Last Emperor").


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