Elton John condemns censorship of 'Rocketman' gay scenes in Russia
Published Saturday, June 1, 2019 3:29PM EDT
Pop star Elton John is condemning the censorship of some scenes in the new film about his life, “Rocketman,” by its Russian distributor.
Russian film critic Anton Dolin 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,” he added. “In the original, it says that Elton John found the love of his life and is raising children with the man he loves.”
Dolin wrote that about five minutes was cut from the film.
The filmmakers released a statement on Friday shared on the John’s Twitter account, stating that they “reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to censor.”
“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,” the statement goes on.
“That the local distributor has found it necessary to edit 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 continues.
The local film distributor, Central Partnership company, told Russian state news agency TASS that the scenes were cut to "comply with Russian legislation,” according to CNN.
It’s unclear what legislation the film is alleged to have contravened but some have speculated that including gay sex scenes could have violated the so-called “anti-gay propaganda” law.
The 2013 law signed by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is entitled “protecting children from information promoting the denial of traditional family values,” according to Human Rights Watch.
The law bans the “promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors” and applies to information provided via the press, television, radio, and the internet, Human Rights Watch says.