‘Rocketman’ Filmmakers Furious After Russia Cuts Gay Scenes From Movie


The filmmakers behind the Elton John biopic Rocketman have responded angrily to reports that scenes featuring gay sex and references to John’s family have been cut from the film in Russia, thanks to the country’s notorious anti-gay laws.

Per reports in The Guardian, the version of the film that opened in Moscow on Thursday has lost an estimated five minutes of footage. Russian film critic Anton Dolin laid out the things that local audiences will not be seeing, saying:

“[All] scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut out … The nastiest part is that the final caption has been removed from the finale.”

Rocketman ends with a caption saying that Elton John is now living with his husband and that they are raising children together, but the Russian version omits this, saying instead that he opened an AIDS foundation and continues to collaborate with his musical partner.

Earlier today, Elton John shared a statement from the filmmakers on Instagram. They said that they were unaware of the local distributor’s decision to make the cuts until it opened there, and that they reject it in the strongest possible terms. They said:

“That the local distributor has found it necessary to edit 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 be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.”

You can see the full statement below:

Rocketman is in cinemas locally now.