Adam Lambert condemns SBS for deleting same-sex kiss in Queen movie

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Adam Lambert condemns SBS for deleting same-sex kiss in Queen movie

American singer Adam Lambert [AP/YONHAP]

American singer Adam Lambert [AP/YONHAP]

 
Adam Lambert, American singer and guest vocalist of rock band Queen, condemned Korean TV channel SBS’s decision to delete a scene of two men kissing in the film “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018) via an Instagram comment on Feb. 16.
 
The film, based on the life of legendary rock singer Freddie Mercury, aired on SBS on Saturday as a Lunar New Year’s special. Mercury was the lead vocalist of Queen until his death in 1991 and was bisexual. SBS edited out a scene of Rami Malek, the actor portraying Mercury, kissing his boyfriend in the film. It also blurred out same-sex kiss scenes between extras in the background.
 
“And yet they’ll play Queen’s records without any hesitation. Nothing explicit or lewd about that kiss. The double standard is real,” Lambert commented on an Instagram post about the controversy from LGBT magazine Out.
 
Out also published an article regarding the controversy on Tuesday, featuring the statement by Korean LGBT advocacy group Rainbow Action criticizing SBS’ censorship as “an insult to not only the late Mr. Mercury, but also the entire LGBT community.”  
 
SBS defended its decision, stating that the censorship was not due to depiction of homosexuality. “Our intention was not to oppose homosexuality,” the channel said, “but we had to carefully consider guidelines as a [major] channel. The film aired during a time when many families watch TV together, so we edited out scenes with extended physical contact to keep the movie PG-15.”
 
Lambert, who is openly gay, started his music career in 2001 and rose to fame after coming in second place on the eighth season of the audition program “American Idol” (2009). He is best known for songs such as “Whataya Want from Me” (2009), “Never Close Our Eyes” (2012) and “Ghost Town” (2015).
 
He has been touring the world with Queen since 2011 as lead vocalist for the “Queen + Adam Lambert” collaboration, and performed in Korea in Jan. 2020.  
 
BY HALEY YANG   [yang.hyunjoo@joongang.co.kr]
 
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