Elton John has condemned the removal of homosexual scenes from his biopic in Russia.
The “local distributor” in Russia cut sex scenes from Rocketman which portrayed the sexuality of the pop star.
Sir Elton and the filmmakers behind the biopic have said the decision to cut footage is a “sad reflection of the divided world we still live in”.
The pop star has history with Russia, warning about threats to gay rights in the nation, and receiving a call from Vladimir Putin.
Following reports that footage was cut from the biopic, Sir Elton has said that the latest incident displays how “cruelly unaccepting” some people can be over issues of love.
Critics in Russia claimed that scenes depicting sexual acts and kissing between men had been removed.
A statement from Sir Elton and the Rocketman filmmakers to the Press Association states: “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.
— Rocketman (@rocketmanmovie) May 30, 2019
“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.”
Russian Anton Dolin film critic posted on Facebook regarding the film: “All scenes of kisses, sex and oral sex between men have been cut.
“From the movie took only minutes 5, but it’s very noticeable. It’s about a principled five minutes, very important for artistic purpose.”
The film stars Taron Egerton as Sir Elton, with Bodyguard star Richard Madden as his former lover and manager John Reid.