Russian film distributor Central Partnership has reportedly cut all of the gay scenes out of Rocketman, the recently released Elton John biopic.
Around five minutes of the film have been left of the cutting room floor because of laws in the country that ban "homosexual propaganda." It has also been alleged that scenes showing Elton's drug use have been cut, too.
Russian film critic Anton Dolin was the first to reveal these alterations, taking to Facebook to write that "all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut out." Dolin had seen the original version of Rocketman earlier this month, so was instantly able to see the changes.
However, Dolin was particularly insulted and aggrieved by the decision to change the concluding "caption" of Rocketman, writing, "the nastiest part is that the final caption has been removed from the finale."
In the final sequence of Rocketman the film offers an update on the life of Elton John, revealing that the musician lives with his husband and that they are raising children. In the Russian version the conclusion merely notes that John continues to write with his musical partner Bernie Taupin and that he set-up an Aids foundation.
The Princess of Wales is greeted by singer Elton John for the charity premiere of the musical 'Tango Argentina' at the Aldwych Theatre, London, in aid of National Aids Trust and Aids Crisis Trust.
Paul McCartney and wife Linda from the band Wings show off their award for Best Single along with Elton John (c) who won the Best Male Singer and Best Concert Awards.
Elton John live in concert in London, circa 1976.
Elton John live in concert in London, circa 1975.
Musician Elton John sings in to the microphone on stage during a gig.
Elton John signs copies of his new album, 'Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player' at the Noel Edmonds's Record Shop, Chelsea.
Elton John live in concert at Wembley Stadium in May 1974.
Rock star Elton John performing on stage at Wembley Stadium, Londpn
Bespectacled pop star Elton John and television personality David Frost being presented to the Queen at Windsor when they were among a host of stars appearing in a gala variety performance in the Big Top at Home Park in aid of the Queen's Silver Jubilee Appeal.
British pop singer Elton John (right), Lana Hamilton (second left), wife of actor George Hamilton, and rock singer Rod Stewart (left) at New York's Studio 54, to celebrate at a party given by RCA Records, who signed John to a contract with the recording company.
1982: Chairman Elton John leads his first team squad in a song at Vicarage Road as Watford get ready for their first 1st Division clash against Everton on Saturday at home. The club announced a 400,000 sponsorship deal with truck and bus giants Iveco.
The Ruritanian look for the pop singer Elton John, showing his new uniform in London, that will be his hallmark for his British tour.
File photo dated 19-05-1984 of Watford Chairman Elton John on the pitch before the match
Pop singer Elton John
The Prince of Wales shakes hands with Elton John, flanked by his drummer Ray Cooper (l) and Dire Strait's bassist John Illsley (centre) before tonight's rock extravaganza at Wembley to celebrate 10 years of the Prince's Trust.
Pop star Elton John, left, who sold his controlling interest in Watford FC to Robert Maxwell for �2 million, joins the publishing tycoon in the stands at Oxford.
1989: Pop star Elton John (left) and Bob Geldof at a BBC photocall in London . Elton is one of the singers who will be seen taking part in 'Our Common Future', an hour long programme of recorded musical highlights of the Planet-Aid global concert staged in New York. Geldof will be introducing the concert. CELEBRITY
1991: Elton John (r) meet actress Elizabeth Taylor and her husband, Larry Fortensky, at a Gala reception for the Aids Trust which was attended by Princess Margaret.
1991: Newly married actress Elizabeth Taylor with her husband, Larry Fortensky (2nd l), actor Michael Caine and pop star Elton John (r) at a charity reopening of the refurbished Mirabelle restaurant in London's Mayfair.
Watford President Elton John greets Graham Taylor at Vicarage Road today (Thursday) as he arrives to take up his new job as General Manager/PA. Elton John is back at the helm of division two Watford after heading a consortium of investors to take over at Vicarage Road from Jack Petchey, it was announced on 26.4.97. The multi-millionaire will now chair both the new board and a holding company which now owns the club. The former England manager Graham Taylor, who has been influential in bringing John back to Vicarage Road, will also remain a pivotal figure at the club as general manager.
PARIS : 19/1/97 : ELTON JOHN AND DAVID FURNISH AT THE THEATRE NATIONAL IN PARIS AFTER THE PERFORMANCE OF "LE PRESBYTERE N'A RIEN PERDU SON CHARME NI LE JARDIN DE SON ECLAT". PA NEWS PHOTO BY DAVE CHESKIN.
Rock legend Elton John at the Royal Academy of Music in London where he received an honorary membership today (Wednesday). The singer-songwriter, who has sold 150 million records, joined the exclusive club of eminent musicians, whose 250 members include conductor Bernard Haitink and tenor Jose Carreras. Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA. Watch for PA story SHOWBIZ Elton.
PEOPLE ROTOR PIC PIC MIKE MALONY................06.09.97 DIANA PRINCESS OF WALES FUNERAL............. WESTMINSTER ABBEY.............. ELTON JOHN AFTER HIS TRIBUTE TO DIANA
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Clearly embarrassed by the actions of his country, Dolin concluded his Facebook post by writing, "Sorry, Sir Elton."
On Friday, Russia's Culture Ministry denied any involvement in the removal of these scenes, telling Interfax that it was "solely the film distributor's decision" to do so.
Amnesty International quickly condemned the editing of Rocketman, calling it "yet another example of Russia's 'gay propaganda law' undermining freedom of expression and encouraging homophobia in Russia."
Natalia Zviagina, the company's Russia Office Director, added, "This homophobic censorship of a film about Elton John is as ridiculous as it is insulting for LGBTI people and anyone in the country who stands for dignity and non-discrimination."
"By censoring any expression of affection between two human beings of the same sex, this mutilated version of the film insults and dehumanises same-sex relationships."