Rocketman: Elton John and filmmakers denounce gay scenes censorship in Russia

Star and filmmakers call situation a 'sad reflection of the divided world we still live in'

Clémence Michallon
Friday 31 May 2019 23:04
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Rocketman featurette: Taron Egerton is Elton John

Sir Elton John has condemned the removal of homosexual scenes from his biopic Rocketman in Russia.

Critics in Russia have claimed that scenes depicting sexual acts and kissing between men have been cut from the film.

Following reports that footage was cut from the biopic, Sir Elton has said that the latest incident displays how “cruelly unaccepting” some people can be over issues of love.

The star and the filmmakers behind the biopic have called the situation a “sad reflection of the divided world we still live in”.

Sir Elton has history with Russia, warning about threats to gay rights in the nation, and receiving a call from Vladimir Putin.

A statement from Sir Elton and the Rocketman filmmakers to the Press Association says: “We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today.

“Paramount Pictures have been brave and bold partners in allowing us to create a film which is a true representation of Elton’s extraordinary life, warts and all.

“That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.

“We believe in building bridges and open dialogue, and will continue to push for the breaking down of barriers until all people are heard equally across the world.”

Russian film critic Anton Dolin said on Facebook that “all scenes of kisses, sex and oral sex between men have been cut”.

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The film stars Taron Egerton as Sir Elton, with Bodyguard star Richard Madden as his former lover and manager John Reid.

Additional reporting by agencies

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