Actor who stars in Elton John biopic says he is crestfallen at removal of gay scenes
Taron Egerton, the star of the Elton John biopic, Rocketman,has said he is dismayed that gay scenes have been cut from the film in Russia.
Egerton, who has won praise for his portrayal of John in the film, wrote on Instagram: I am crestfallen that the decision was made to censor our movie for the Russian market.
The removal of scenes from the film had already been condemned by John, who described the decision as a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in.
The cuts were first reported by Russian journalists after the films release in Moscow last week. The critic Anton Dolin wrote on Facebook that all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut.
Dolin reported that only five minutes appeared to have been removed from Rocketman, which has generally received positive reviews. But its very noticeable, he said. Its about a principled five minutes, very important for artistic purpose.
His disappointment was shared by Egerton: I, in no way, condone this decision and feel disappointed I wasnt made aware and given the chance to fight this move. Love is love. No compromises. He also added a rainbow emoji, which is a symbol of LGBT pride.
A Russian state news agency said the distribution company managing Rocketman confirmed that changes were made to the film in accordance with Russian law.
John has had several run-ins in the past with Russian authorities over their treatment of gay people. In a statement, the singer together with the makers of Rocketman, said: 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 Eltons 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.