Sir Elton John slams Russia for censoring scenes from Rocketman. (News that reads the world.)

The country has censored same-sex scenes as well as scenes involving drug use.
Sir Elton John has slammed Russia for censoring scenes from his biopic Rocketman. On Facebook, one Russian journalist confirmed that “all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut out.”

Another added that scenes depicting drug use had been cut. In all, five minutes of the film had been cut, including a photograph of Sir Elton with his husband, David Furnish, shown in the credits.

Olga Lyubimova, the head of the Culture Ministry’s cinema department, told Tass that no specific restrictions were put on the film, but films had to abide by Russia’s laws on “paedophilia, ethnic and religious hatred and pornography.”

Sharing a statement on Twitter, Sir Elton John said: “We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to 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.

“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 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.”

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