The Elton John biopic Rocketman has been doing well in the box office and is considered a critical success. It’s amazing to see a mainstream movie about a gay man do so well, especially given how the movie doesn’t shy away from Elton John’s homosexuality. In fact, there are several scenes that show the singer making out with other men, and even scenes where Elton has on-screen sex with his former lover John Reid.
Unfortunately, not all markets are ready to show a film so open about homosexuality. Russia, which is known for being very anti-LGBT, will be showing a heavily censored version of Rocketman overseas. Human Rights Watch reports that all scenes depicting men kissing and having sex with each other has been cut from the film. However, the Russian Cultural Ministry has claimed that they are not responsible for the censorship. The decision seems to have been made by Rocketman‘s Russian distributor, most likely to comply with the country’s law against “gay propaganda.” They also censored the film’s depiction of drug usage.
The film’s star Taron Egerton posted a statement on Instagram his disappointment with the censorship. Elton John himself also condemned Russia’s decision on Twitter and the distributor’s homophobic actions. The musician is actually fairly well known in Russia, and many of his Russian fans were disappointed with the homophobic censorship. It’s pretty disheartening to know that there are still countries like Russia that suppress LGBT people and LGBT art.