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Elton John Slams Russian Censors For Cutting Gay Sex Scenes From His Biopic

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Elton John and the makers of his biopic Rocketman have slammed Russian censors for cutting the film’s gay sex scenes.

Directed by Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle, Sunshine on Leith), Rocketman stars Taron Egerton as Elton John and chronicles the iconic musician’s life from boyhood through to his early 40s.

Now showing in theaters, Rocketman has received rave reviews with critics praising its honest handling of Elton John’s sexuality even though it wasn’t easy to get the R-rated musical biopic made in the first place.

 

 

Despite the battle to make Rocketman a raw and honest movie, Variety reports that Russian censors have cut scenes from the film that depict gay sex and men kissing. News of the cuts was initially reported by Russian journalists who attended a screening of the film in Moscow. The Guardian later reported that around five minutes of footage had been cut from film because of Russian laws that ban “homosexual propaganda”.

Responding to the news, Elton John and the makers of Rocketman issued a statement:

“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.”

Meanwhile, Paramount issued a separate statement in support of Rocketman but emphasized that the studio must respect local laws that might result in certain scenes being cut:

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