'A Sad Reflection Of The Divided World': Elton John Slams Russian Censorship Of 'Rocketman'
While 'Rocketman' continues to tick along at the box office, its subject Elton John has slammed a decision to censor the film in Russia.
John and 'Rocketman' filmmakers released a statement after hearing Russian distributors had edited out gay sex scenes from the film.
According to the BBC, the distributor told state news it did so to comply with Russian laws.
John slammed the decision as one which denied the audience "the opportunity to see the film as it was intended".
"(It) 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," he said in a statement posted on Twitter.
The statement began by saying they "reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to censor 'Rocketman' for the Russian market'".
Apparently, John wasn't aware of the decision to remove approximately five minutes from the film due to Russia's laws banning "homosexual propaganda" until it was reported by Russian media following a screening in Moscow.
In a separate statement, Paramount Pictures said the following:
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.
Russian journalists claimed that sex scenes were removed as well as scenes depicting drug use and -- possibly the most needless --the final caption of the film that references John's husband David Furnish.
The film's star, Taron Egerton, posted to his social media saying he was "crestfallen" about the decision.
Ahead of the film's release, John wrote a piece for The Observer where he referenced the scenes featuring sex and drugs.
"Some studios wanted to tone down the sex and drugs so the film would get a PG-13 rating. But I just haven’t led a PG-13 rated life," he said.
Despite the Russian censorship of the film, critics have been raving about the biopic that sees Egerton star as John alongside Richard Madden, Jamie Bell, Bryce Dallas Howard and Gemma Jones.
'Rocketman' is in cinemas across Australia now.
Featured image: Getty Images.