After reports that Russia had censored the Elton John biopic Rocketman for an advance screening in Moscow on Thursday, Elton and the filmmakers issued a statement condemning the unauthorized edits.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Russian version of the film cut out any scenes depicting drug use or gay sex. A photograph of Elton and his husband David Furnish was reportedly even cut out of the closing credits.
“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,” the statement reads.
“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,” it continues. “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.”
The statement concludes, “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.”
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