14 June 2011

"Bohemian Rhapsody" controversy in Wasilla

From the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman:
WASILLA — When members of Wasilla High School’s symphonic jazz choir heard Friday it wouldn’t be singing the popular Queen hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” at this year’s graduation ceremony after working on it all year, the students couldn’t get their heads around it.

WHS Principal Dwight Probasco reportedly had received complaints from at least one parent that the 1975 hit written by Freddie Mercury wasn’t appropriate for the ceremony simply because Mercury was gay.

“The whole thing was just ridiculous,” senior Rachel Clark said Monday. “They’d played the song on the school intercom and we played it at prom. It’s a great song and the choir was really excited to be singing it. And the senior class felt like it defined them.” Choir member Casey Hight, a junior, was angry enough to contact a gay and lesbian support organization in Anchorage for help. They told her to contact an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Although Probasco wouldn’t comment on the issue Monday, Senior Class Advisor Deb Haynes said Probasco has now agreed to allow the choir to sing an edited version of Bohemian Rhapsody that doesn’t include lyrics in one section about killing a man.
The definitive TYWKIWDBI post about Bohemian Rhapsody is here.


  1. He's was gay?? I though Mercury was just really really happy? Wtf? who knew....

  2. Yet another reason to support the ACLU. Sometimes the threat is enough to stop the stupidity.

  3. This bothers me so much because of how it was handled. If "at least" one person (meaning not many at all) complained then they could choose not to attend. But the fact that it was because he was gay is just blatant ignorance. Its the equivalent to not wanting to sit at a table because there is someone of another color sitting next to it. I'd thought we've all moved past complete intolerance but I guess not. What irks me even more is that they changed the lyrics for no reason at all. I guarantee it was someone who complained about Freddy being gay then changed their story to not approving of the lyrics. If those people actually read and try to understand the lyrics they would know that it is symbolic.


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