Elton John slams Russian censors over Rocketman cuts

Elton John (Image credit: Tristan Fewings - Getty)

Elton John (opens in new tab) and the filmmakers behind Rocketman (opens in new tab) have issued a joint statement after it emerged that the sex scenes in the film had been cut from the Russian release of the film.

The Guardian (opens in new tab) report that around five minutes of the movie have been removed due to the nation’s laws regarding “homosexual propaganda” with Russian film critic Anton Dolin first bringing the situation to light.

He said that “all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men” had been cut, while the on-screen caption at the end which says Elton and his husband David Furnish were raising their children together, has been changed to say that the singer, songwriter set up an Aids foundation and that he’s still writing with his musical partner.

It’s also reported that scenes of drug use have also been removed.

The joint statement reads: “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.”

Last week, Elton said that some studios wanted to cut parts from Rocketman to make it more accessible for a younger audience, but he refused, saying: “I just haven’t led a PG-13 rated life.” (opens in new tab)

Here's everything you need to know about Rocketman, while Classic Rock have also compiled the ultimate Elton John playlist.

Rocketman Soundtrack (opens in new tab)

Rocketman Soundtrack (opens in new tab)
The soundtrack to Elton John biopic Rocketman features tracks sung by the film's leading actor Taron Egerton, along with the new song (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again.

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.