screenrant.com

Elton John Slams Russian Censors for Cutting Rocketman's Gay Sex Scenes

Rocketman Sex Scene Elton John

Elton John and the makers of his biopic Rocketman have slammed Russian censors for cutting the movie’s gay sex scenes. Directed by Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle, Sunshine on Leith), Rocketman stars Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Sing 2) as Elton John and chronicles the iconic musician’s life from boyhood through to his early 40s. Now in theaters, Rocketman has received rave reviews with critics praising its honest handling of Elton John’s sexuality.

It wasn’t easy to get the R-rated musical biopic made in the first place. Elton John, who served as executive producer on Rocketman, had to fight tooth and nail to get the studios to let him make a movie that faithfully depicted both the public and personal sides of his life. Some studios were adamant that the film should be toned down so it could get a PG-13 rating and appeal to a wider audience. It was also rumored that Rocketman’s distributors, Paramount, wanted to cut a nude scene from the movie before its release - though director Fletcher was quick to debunk that.

Continue scrolling to keep reading Click the button below to start this article in quick view.

Related: Rocketman True Story: What The Elton John Movie Changes

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 were 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.”

Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman (photo: Paramount Pictures)

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

“We are incredibly proud of the movie that we made, which is told in the way that Elton John wanted his story to be depicted. We are releasing the film in its entirety around the world regardless of rating, but like all studios, we must adhere to local laws and requirements in certain territories in which the film is being shown.”

Russia is notorious for its anti-LGBT laws but despite that, Elton John has quite a big following there and has spoken out against those laws when performing at concerts in the country. Russian president Vladimir Putin once even said of the rock star: “…he's an extraordinary person, a distinguished musician, and millions of our people sincerely love him, regardless of his sexual orientation."

However, when it comes to Russia’s film censors it seems Elton John’s sexual orientation is still a major issue. Interestingly, Rocketman co-star Richard Madden – who plays the singer’s manager and partner, John Reid and features in the cut sex scene – recently stated that cutting the sex scene would’ve been a disservice to Elton John. Now it seems Russia, despite its apparent admiration for the star, has done just that.

Next: Every Elton John Song In Rocketman

Source: Variety, The Guardian

Apple and Disney logos
Bob Iger: If Steve Jobs Had Lived, Disney & Apple Could Have Merged

More in Movie News