Elton John and Taron Egerton have responded to Russia’s decision to censor Rocketman, the biopic about the iconic musician’s life.
A Russian media company has reportedly cut all scenes from Rocketman featuring gay sex and men kissing because of laws banning “homosexual propaganda.”
Around five minutes of the film have been left of the cutting room floor in an attempt to downplay the sexuality of one of the world’s most famous gay celebrities for a conservative Russian audience.
Reported by popular Russian critic Anton Dolin, he wrote on Facebook that “all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut out… The nastiest part is that the final caption has been removed from the finale.”
Не мое дело (наверное), но напишу. Хотя бы потому, что чувствую и свою ответственность: фильм хвалил, на премьеру звал,…
“Sorry, Sir Elton,” Dolin ended his post.
Responding to the cuts, John and the movie’s makers have released a joint statement condemning the Russian censorship.
“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,” the statement read. “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.”
See the statement in full below:
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) May 31, 2019
Rocketman star Taron Egerton, who has been praised for his portrayal of John in the movie, has also responded.
“I am crestfallen that the decision was made to censor our movie for the Russian market.” he said in an Instagram post. “I’m even more disappointed to hear about it secondhand 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.”
A new clip from the movie shows the moment the singer’s classic ‘Your Song’ was created. Watch as John pieces the song together on the piano in his mother’s home while his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin (played by Jamie Bell) is stunned by the end result.