Actor Rami Malek has rejected suggestions that Freddie Mercury is a gay icon, saying the singer shouldn't be defined by his sexuality.
“If he’s an icon to one, there’s no reason it requires another adjective, as far as I see it,” the star, who plays Freddie Mercury in the new biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, said.
Malek, 37, continued: “I think the way - what’s really great about him is that he never wanted to or thought about himself as being boxed into anything."
“He just was," the Mr Robot actor added.
"I mean, he even - I’ve heard him say when asked, he says: ‘I’m just me. I’m just me.'”
While some fans took to social media to complain that Malek was erasing Mercury's sexuality, others defended the actor's comments, saying they were made out of respect for the Queen front-man.
Freddie Mercury, who was famously private about his sexuality, died from AIDS-related illness in 1991.