Rising Sun Removed From Bohemian Rhapsody So Not To Offend 

Screenshot: JoBlo Movie Trailers,Screenshot: 20th Century Fox

In the Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody, a t-shirt was digitally changed as not to cause offence.

In the original trailer, the cinematic counterpart of drummer Roger Meddows Taylor wears a Rising Sun t-shirt with the Japanese word 有名 (yuumei) or “famous.”

While the traditional motif has long-standing associations that have nothing to do with late 19th-century and 20th-century Japanese imperialism and aggression (for example, it’s also a traditional fishing motif) and while it’s still used by the Japanese Navy, the design evokes painful history for many of Japan’s neighbours.

After initial complaints about the t-shirt’s design, it was soon digitally changed.

As website Koreaboo points out, Gwilym Lee, the actor who played Brian May, also recently came under fire in South Korea for uploading a photo taken in Japan that featured sun-ray type imagery. In the photo, the ray design is red on yellow and the not the red and yellow of the Rising Sun flag.

It was one of several photos taken and uploaded during the film’s Japanese release.

View this post on Instagram

What an incredible trip. Tokyo - you have been amazing. What an incredible journey we’ve been on with this film. This is the last stop on our press tour and it’s been a dream of mine to visit Tokyo - who’d have thought my first trip to this amazing city would be to promote a film we’re all so proud of and audiences are embracing so enthusiastically. My personal highlight of the week was surprising an audience of a sing-along screening of the film with a post show appearance. They went wild! Thanks to everyone who made us feel so welcome. And great that cardboard @benhardy1 could join us. Enjoy the film Japan! #bohemianrhapsody #bohemianrhapsodymovie #borappresstour #tokyo #japan @bohemianrhapsodymovie @20thcenturyfox

A post shared by Gwilym Lee (@mrgwilymlee) on

According to Koreaboo, reaction to the photo varied with some online saying the actor didn’t know while others demanded an apology. Lee appears to have removed the image from his Instagram.


    Don't be prejudiced.
    Don't be racist, homophobic or misogynistic.
    Don't go outside.
    Don't tweet.
    Don't blog.
    Don't talk.
    Don't have individualistic thoughts or creativity.
    Don't even move.

    But you'll STILL end up pissing someone off somewhere over something.

    DISCLAIMER: (the first two were literal; the rest were exaggerated).

      People not liking the Asian equivalent of a swastika tshirt isn't political correctness gone mad. You fool.

        I know?
        The top two lines and the "disclaimer" address that.

        Read the entire comment, please. I won't resort to name calling, but, have a good day :)

          I read it. It still came across as "everyone gets too offended"

            They do.

            We do.

            All the time.

            Over a lot of stuff.

              Well then I refer to my original statement. That image was and continues to be used by racial purists who yearn for the good old days of ethnic cleansing in the early 20th century. The victims of that ethnic cleansing are totally justified in getting salty about white dudes turning their cultural tragedy into a cool tshirt.

                I'm sorry, I'm not going to continue this discussion; you haven't exactly grasped my initial point completely, or, you have, and simply chosen to disregard it. Either is fine, I guess, but this is pointless to continue.

                I will finish with this:
                I know the history, I'm not exactly white because my heritage is Aboriginal. I understand what's happened, and why people are offended. My own family history has similar aspects.

                But its History. Learn from it, accept it and move on. I'm not saying to forget it.

                My point, is that there is already so many things wrong in the world and a t-shirt in a movie may or may not be something to get so riled up over. Actors portray racists all the time, and they may get praised for an exceptional performance. No lines, or body language is removed. Yet, a t shirt that has a symbolic image with a history beyond what people are focalising on.... it's silly. It really is.

                Maybe its me, maybe I am the problem and I just can't see the point of offense over a fucking t shirt. Which is worse; that shirt or Cradle of Filth's 'Jesus is a Cunt' t-shirt?
                It's rhetorical, don't worry.

                Nevertheless, as I said, I'm not going to continue this; reply, don't reply, it's moot.

                I sincerely hope you have a good evening.

                  I haven't misunderstood or ignored. I disagree.

                  I can't speak to your experience, but I can speak to the political and cultural experience for this particular issue. It's not historical. It's not small. It's alive and well today in a country divided by war and a country that helped cause that war and is now in the thrall of a powerful nationalist movement. Korean residents of Japan are routinely victims of discrimination and nationalist violence. The relationship between the countries is complicated and the sins of the past are very much present and contentious.

                  I'm not Japanese or Korean, but I was a long term resident of Japan working in the Japanese government. You're telling people that their problems aren't real because they don't affect you. You're wrong.

    Whoever made that decision had better steer clear of Blazing Saddles.

      'scuse me, while I whip this out.

        That's probably one of 2 quotable lines in that film that wouldn't get you banned on a lot of forums these days.

          I dunno.. I tried it in a feminist forum... Got banned pretty quickly

    Korea definitely has a right to complain about the actual rising sun flag, but that yellow and red one is obviously completely unrelated and getting upset about that one is just people that are deliberately going out of their way to find something to be offended about.

      Mate... any other South East Asian country during WWII has a "right" to be upset over the some of the stuff Japan did back then..

      Except I dont see a lot of complaints coming from other countries on jp flag depictions and whatnot most of those countries have other issues to be worried about besides offence over a flag - chronic poverty, corruption and china. And dont get me wrong there is still outstanding issues today about the whole treatment of women and folks fighting for compensation.. but offence over a flag? And this is coming from some one born and raised in SEA before moving to Aus.

      Seems like standard first world problem taking offence of behalf of others coupled with the long standing internet hate korea is infamous for against Jp

        Yeah, the Koreans are definitely overly-precious about that flag. It was used for like 50 years before WW2 and the JSDF still use it now, it's not like the Swastika which was a flag for a problematic ideology, it's just a military ensign for a military that at one point were (admittedly very) bad.

        That said, we need to remember that unlike the places in South-East Asia that Japan conquered during WW2, Korea was subject to Japanese occupation for much longer - it was annexed in 1910 and occupied until 1945. There's a whole generation of bad blood between the countries as a result.

    I understand ads are where the funding comes from but come on Kotaku, even your embedded images have ads attached to them... Your website isnt you own anymore. This is getting out of hand.

    Good to see G.Orwell was right after all.

      Jesus Christ, have you ever actually read anything by Orwell?

    Nevermind the rising sun imagery, why does Roger Taylor look like he was played by Scarlet Johansen?

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