Elton John And Taron Egerton Condemn Removal Of Gay Scenes From Rocketman In Russia

"We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws."

Elton John and Taron Egerton have condemned the removal of gay scenes from Rocketman.

The local distributor cut sex scenes from Elton’s biopic that portrayed his sexuality, including one that sees the popstar lose his virginity to his manager, John Reid.

Elton called the censorship “cruelly unaccepting”, saying in a joint statement with the filmmakers: “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.

Elton John and Taron Egerton
Elton John and Taron Egerton
Daniele Venturelli via Getty Images

“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.”

Russia’s Culture Ministry told news agency TASS: “The Russian Culture Ministry issued no recommendations concerning the removal of any scenes from said movie, the decision was made solely by the distributor.”

Taron, who plays Elton in Rocketman, said he was “crestfallen” at the censorship of the film.

“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,” he added along with rainbow emoji.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, at a Moscow preview of the film five minutes were cut and the closing credits were changed to remove references to Elton’s life with his husband David Furnish and their two children.

Russian film critic Anton Dolin also revealed in a Facebook post that “all scenes of kisses, sex and oral sex between men have been cut from the movie.”

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