AceShowbiz - Elton John has hit out at Russian distributors for removing gay sex and drug trafficking scenes from his new biopic.
The openly homosexual music icon has teamed up with "Rocketman" filmmakers to condemn bosses at Central Partnership, a film distribution company in Russia, for heavily censoring the movie about his life.
"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," they write in a joint statement to Billboard.
"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."
"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."
Central Partnership representatives told news agency TASS that they had amended the film in order to comply with strict Russian legislation, which makes it illegal to show homosexual relationships in the media.
Taron Egerton stars as Elton, a longtime advocate for the LGBTQ community, in "Rocketman", which vividly depicts his life as a gay rock star.