At the premiere of the new biopic of Freddie Mercury’s life Bohemian Rhapsody premiere today at Wembley SSE Arena ACT UP LONDON and the NHS ANTI-SWINDLE TEAM protest at the red carpet chanting a revised version of ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ called ‘Don’t Cut Me Now.’
The film and particularly the trailer has received a great deal of attention for its meagre perception of the huge contribution that sexuality, the AIDS crisis and the stigma associated had on Freddie Mercury’s life.
The pacification and sanitisation of Freddie’s life have resulted in ongoing controversy throughout the film’s production and the activists at the premier want to highlight how the ongoing silencing of the reality of LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS can continue stigma.
Member of ACT UP LONDON Jeremy Goldstein said, “Freddie ‘Killer Queen’ Mercury was a migrant who died from AIDS and today HIV+ migrants are some of the most oppressed in the HIV/AIDS community. We are here today to highlight the ongoing crisis.
“Farrokh Bulsara was professionally known as Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar in 1946. The son of Parsis, he spent most of his childhood at boarding school in India.
“At seventeen he and his family became refugees fleeing from the Zanzibar revolution. After an epic career with Queen Freddie sadly died in 1991 his home in Kensington the day after he publicly announced he was living with HIV.
“We demand that all HIV+ migrants are treated with utmost dignity, that HIV services stop being closed down and an end to all illegal detention of HIV+ migrants.”
When Freddie Mercury announced that he had AIDS in 1991, the news hit like a bomb across the globe.
In his statement, he said: “Following enormous conjecture in the press, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS. I felt it correct to keep this information private in order to protect the privacy of those around me.
“However, the time has now come for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth, and I hope everyone will join with me, my doctors and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease.”
He died the following day.
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