Elton John has criticised Russia following claims scenes featuring homosexuality were edited out of biopic Rocketman.
According to reports, a Russian media company is believed to have removed around five minutes of footage due to laws which ban ‘homosexual propaganda’ in cinema since 2013.
A Russian film critic, Anton Dolin, detailed on Facebook how ‘all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut out’, and claimed they changed a line at the end of the film where Elton discusses raising kids with his husband.
Elton John and the filmmakers behind Rocketman have since issued a joint statement regarding the edited scenes, which reads: ‘We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local news 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.’
The film’s lead star Taron Egerton, 29, has also condemned 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.’
Rocketman is in cinemas now.
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