Elton John and the film crew behind 'Rocketman' biopic have expressed some strong words upon the revelation that a Russian distributor has cut more than five minutes from the newly release film.
Variety has reported that the removed scenes mostly featured clips of men kissing and having sex, all conflicting with Russian law of "homosexual propaganda" ban.
"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," says the filmmakers. They have released a statement to address their anger, as Paramount Pictures have been "brave and bold partners" to them when creating 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."
Paramount Pictures has also issued their own statement, expressing disappointment in the censorship. They have also explained that the changes were out of their control as they had to adhere to local laws and requirements in different countries where the film will be shown.