Sir Elton John slams censorship of Rocketman

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 1 June 2019
Sir Elton John

Sir Elton John

Sir Elton John has slammed Russia for censoring his biopic 'Rocketman' and removing gay sex scenes

Sir Elton John has slammed Russia for censoring his biopic 'Rocketman'.

The movie musical features a number of gay sex scenes, including one where Elton loses his virginity to his manager, John Reid, and the 72-year-old openly gay star is horrified that Russian movie distributors have decided to cut the affectionate same-sex moments from the movie.

Elton and the filmmakers said in a joint statement: "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 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," it read. "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."

Russia's Culture Ministry told news agency TASS: "The Russian Culture Ministry issued no recommendations concerning the removal of any scenes from said movie, the decision was made solely by the distributor."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, at a Moscow preview of the film five minutes were cut and the closing credits were changed to remove references to Elton's life with his husband David Furnish and their two children.

Russian film critic Anton Dolin also revealed in a Facebook post that "all scenes of kisses, sex and oral sex between men have been cut from the movie."


  • 3 stars
  • 2019
  • UK / US
  • 2h 1min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Dexter Fletcher
  • Cast: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard
  • UK release: 24 May 2019

This Elton John biopic, exec-produced by its subject, could have been a vanity project, but it’s a fun and cute fantasy musical; Egerton as John as exuberant and sympathetic, and the framing device is sensible. Hardly revelatory, but Fletcher does a good job and sprinkles some inventiveness. Classic songbook helps.