The Human Rights Commission accused SBS of encouraging negative prejudice because SBS edited out same-sex kiss scene in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

The National Human Rights Commission judged SBS’s action as a hatred expression that encouraged negative prejudices.

On September 1, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRC) announced their statement: “The fact that SBS deleted and blurred the same-sex kiss scene during the movie broadcasting could be an expression of encouraging negative prejudice and gender discrimination towards the sexual minorities.”

On February 13, in celebrating the Lunar New Year, SBS broadcasted the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” as a special film but deleted the kiss scene of Mercury and his lover Jim Hutton. In particular, the kiss scene between the 2 male supporting roles was blurred out while the kiss scene of the couple with opposite sexes was aired as usual.

After the broadcast, singer Adam Lambert, who acted as a supporting vocalist for the band Queen in the movie, gave his criticisms to the broadcaster. He said, “Deleting the kiss scene is an act of showing double standard for sexual minorities. This scene was not obscene at all.”

The LGBT community also criticized SBS and filed a petition to NHRC. They said, “This is the act of considering homosexuality as harmful and edited the same-sex kiss is clearly an expression of discrimination towards sexual minorities.”

SBS explained to NHRC that they had no intention of discrimination. They recalled a kiss scene between high school girls which was aired and caused an incident in the past to claim that their deleting of the kiss scene in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was just to avoid the recurrence of that incident.

However, NHRC rejected SBS’s explanation and expressed their opinion: “SBS’s action may promote and strengthen negative prejudices against sexual minority groups. The fact that the same-sex kiss scene was deleted and blurred may cause concerns to the people of sexual minorities and make them consider themselves as harmful people.”

NHRC also emphasized, “SBS should ensure that no negative prejudices against sexual minorities are promoted through their producing, editing, and broadcasting content. Therefore, the standards for broadcasting should be equally considered for all people, including the sexual minorities.” 

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