Russia Cuts Gay Sex Scene From Elton John Biopic ‘Rocketman’ | The Daily Wire
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Russia Cuts Gay Sex Scene From Elton John Biopic ‘Rocketman’

By  Paul Bois
DailyWire.com

Though the Elton John biopic “Rocketman” has made history by becoming the first movie released by a major studio to feature a gay sex scene, Russia has ensured its citizens will not serve as witnesses to the novelty.

According to The Guardian, a Russian media company has cut “all scenes featuring gay sex and men kissing from the Elton John biopic Rocketman because of laws banning ‘homosexual propaganda,'” totaling five minutes of footage. Furthermore, the Russian release of “Rocketman” will not feature the end caption that says Elton John has been raising children with his husband. The new version says that John established an AIDS foundation and works with his musical partner.

“The cuts were first reported by Russian journalists after the film’s 30 May release in Moscow,” reports the outlet. “Anton Dolin, a popular Russian film critic, wrote on Facebook that ‘all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut out… The nastiest part is that the final caption has been removed from the finale.'”

Last Friday, Elton John and the makers of “Rocketman” condemned the cuts in a joint statement, hoping that bridges can be built in Russia.

“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,” said the statement. “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.”

Though Hollywood has featured gay sex scenes of varying degrees ever since Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal shared a tent in the Oscar-winning “Brokeback Mountain,” the Elton John biopic vowed to break barriers by being a major motion picture (not independently produced) marketed to a wide audience to feature a gay sex scene. Here’s how The Hollywood Reporter framed it:

In the ’70s and early ’80s, gay male sex occasionally popped up in films from companies that might be comparable to a Paramount today. For instance, United Artists backed the 1980 Al Pacino thriller Cruising, about a serial killer targeting gay men. But in recent decades, the prospect of major studios depicting steamy gay sex has become a nonstarter. Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody didn’t feature any despite the fact that its protagonist, Freddie Mercury, was bisexual and died of AIDS-related complications. The 1982 Harry Hamlin starter Making Love also broke ground at the time for depicting a gay male couple.

Though 2018’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the Freddy Mercury biopic, featured a gay male in the title role, the film’s PG-13 rating kept it from pushing the same boundaries as “Rocketman.” Despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews, “Rocketman” did not pull in the same dollars in the box office as “Bohemian Rhapsody” over the weekend, earning the number three spot with just $25 million. Conversely, the Freddy Mercury biopic stunned audiences at number one with a domestic haul of $51 million on its opening weekend, grossing a whopping total of $903 million worldwide.

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  5. Russia
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