Elton John slams Russian censors over Rocketman cuts

Elton John (Image credit: Tristan Fewings - Getty)

Elton John and the filmmakers behind Rocketman 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 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.”

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

Rocketman Soundtrack

Rocketman Soundtrack
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 Munro
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Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.