Rocketman star Taron Egerton criticises Russia's decision to cut gay scenes from Elton John biopic for being 'homosexual propaganda'

'I feel disappointed I wasn’t made aware and given the chance to fight this move'

Jacob Stolworthy
Saturday 01 June 2019 08:10 BST
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Taron Egerton, who plays Elton John in Rocketman, has criticised a Russian distributor for cutting scenes with gay sex and men kissing from the film.

The British actor, 29, denounced the decision on Instagram, writing: ”I am crestfallen that the decision was made to censor our movie for the Russian market. ‘I’m even more disappointed to hear about it second hand today on the day of our domestic release. I in no way condone this decision and feel disappointed I wasn’t made aware and given the chance to fight this move. ‘Love is love. No compromises.”

Journalists in Russia revealed that several scenes had been removed from the musical following a screening on 30 May in Moscow.

According to The Guardian, Rocketman was cut for approximately five minutes with its distributor Central Partnership citing “homosexual propaganda”.

“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,” filmmakers said in a statement.

“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.

The statement continued: “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.”

Paramount added: “We are incredibly proud of the movie that we made, which is told in the way that Elton John wanted his story to be depicted. We are releasing the film in its entirety around the world regardless of rating, but like all studios, we must adhere to local laws and requirements in certain territories in which the film is being shown.”

Dexter Fletcher’s Rocketman, which stars Taron Egerton as the “Tiny Dancer” singer, has proved a box office hit since its release in the UK. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

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Earlier this week, Elton John angrily criticised Brexit during a gig in Verona, telling spectators he’s not a ‘stupid, colonial English idiot’ during concert

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