Despite Bohemian Rhapsody picking up four Academy Awards at this year’s Oscars, Queen guitarist Brian May admits he was shocked into silence by the media’s “vitriol and dishonesty” during Oscars season.
Bohemian Rhapsody is the biggest-grossing music biopic of all-time and cleaned up at the Oscars with the top haul of the night, but the runaway success of the film has left something of a bittersweet taste in May’s mouth because he believes certain quarters of the media tried to cripple the film’s chance of ever winning an award.
Ultimate Classic Rock reports that May took to Instagram to write about his pride in opening the Academy Awards show in “a way it’s never been opened before in an avalanche of excitement.” May recalls after rocking the house and receiving a standard ovation from a “glittering audience” that featured many of his heroes, he was congratulated by the head of local production for what he regarded as the “best opening” in his 40-year Oscars career.
“So – everyone assumes that we would then all go forth, deliriously partying with not a care in the world,” May continued.
“But I guess I’m not that kind of animal. I was, and I am, deeply grateful for our Freddie [Mercury] film being recognized in a way we never had the audacity to expect. But I found the public activity behind the whole awards season, and the behavior of the media writers surrounding it, deeply disturbing.”
May’s main bone of contention is that prior to the Oscars, he believed the vast majority of press and online discussions were “aimed at discrediting one or other, or all of the nominated films by innuendo and smears, rather than discussing their merits and admiring the skills that went into making them.”
Critics of Bohemian Rhapsody were particularly harsh, describing the film as “a succession of predigested clichés” and “royally embarrassing.”
He believes the awards panel were being pressured to vote a certain way but thankfully they did not buckle under the “blatant attempts to shame and influence” them and “stood up well.”
May describes the attacks on Bohemian Rhapsody as not being worthy of an Oscar as a sort of “vindictive sickness” which he feels flourishes everywhere in modern life.
He then pointed to an article in The Spectator penned by Toby Young, which he said encapsulates is own feelings in a nutshell.
The article entitled “Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Oscars Win Is a Triumph Over Snobby Film Critics,” argues that critics willfully ignored the Queen biopic because it flew in the face of the traditional rags-to-riches story as members of Queen were all from relatively successful social backgrounds. Young also explained that Freddie Mercury’s sexuality hadn’t followed the established politically correct format.