Elton John accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of “hypocrisy” when it comes to his stance on LGBT rights and policies, citing the censorship of the Elton John biopic “Rocketman” as a reason for why he doesn’t take Putin at his word.In an interview with The Financial Times on Thursday, Putin said he’s willing to “let everyone be happy, we have no problem with that,” but criticized certain lifestyle choices for fear that it could “overshadow” other “traditional family values.”“I find duplicity in your comment that you want LGBT people to ‘be happy’ and that ‘we have no problem in that,'” John said in a statement obtained by TheWrap. “Yet Russian distributors chose to heavily censor my film ‘Rocketman’ by removing all references to my finding true happiness through my 25 year relationship with David and the raising of my two beautiful sons. This feels like hypocrisy to me.”Also Read: Elton John and 'Rocketman' Filmmakers Condemn Russian Censorship of FilmJohn previously issued a statement condemning the censorship of “Rocketman,” in which The Guardian reported that a Russian distributor had cut all scenes in the film featuring gay sex or men kissing due to laws banning “homosexual propaganda,” an estimated five minutes in all of total footage.Further, the caption ahead of the film’s credits says that John now lives happily with his husband and that they are raising their children together. The Guardian quoted a Russian film critic who said that in Russian version of the film, the credits read that John has established an AIDS foundation and continues to work with his musical partner.John and the filmmakers at the time said they were unaware that the changes to the film would be made.“I am proud to live in a part of the world where our governments have evolved to recognise the universal human right to love whoever we want,” John continued in his letter to President Putin. “And I’m truly grateful for the advancement in government policies that have legally supported and allowed my marriage to David. This has brought us both tremendous comfort and happiness.”Also Read: 'Rocketman' Fact Check: Did Elton John Really Take His Stage Name From John Lennon?Speaking to the Financial Times, Putin said that the ideals of “liberalism” had become “obsolete” and further threw water on the idea that Russia’s policies are homophobic.“I am not trying to insult anyone because we have been condemned for our alleged homophobia. But we have no problem with LGBT persons. God forbid, let them live as they wish,” Putin said Thursday. “But some things do appear excessive to us. They claim now that children can play five or six gender roles.”Putin continued: “But this must not be allowed to overshadow the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population.”“Rocketman” is a biopic and jukebox musical about John’s life starring Taron Egerton and directed by Dexter Fletcher. The film is in theaters now.Read John’s full letter to President Putin below:Dear President Putin,I was deeply upset when I read your recent interview in the Financial Times. I strongly disagree with your view that pursuing policies that embrace multicultural and sexual diversity are obsolete in our societies. I find duplicity in your comment that you want LGBT people to “be happy” and that “we have no problem in that”. Yet Russian distributors chose to heavily censor my film “Rocketman” by removing all references to my finding true happiness through my 25 year relationship with David and the raising of my two beautiful sons. This feels like hypocrisy to me.I am proud to live in a part of the world where our governments have evolved to recognise the universal human right to love whoever we want. And I’m truly grateful for the advancement in government policies that have legally supported and allowed my marriage to David. This has brought us both tremendous comfort and happiness.Respectfully,Elton JohnLOVEISLOVE WORLDPRIDE @ejafRead original story Elton John Accuses Vladimir Putin of ‘Hypocrisy’ on LGBT Rights Following ‘Rocketman’ Censorship At TheWrap
Elton John isn’t at a loss for words when asked if he has a message for young LGBTQ people who are struggling with their sexuality or gender identity. In an exclusive interview with Variety at last month’s Cannes Film Festival, just hours before the world premiere of his long-in-the-works biopic “Rocketman,” John spoke candidly about the […]
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"Elton is an icon for [the LGBTQ] community, a real pioneer, and a real standard-bearer. And so it was something that we took great care to deal with, with love and consideration.”
Elton John and the filmmakers behind the biopic on his life “Rocketman” have condemned the censorship of their film in Russian theaters, in which the local distributor removed “certain scenes” that the filmmakers say is “cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.”John is seen in a sex scene with another man in the film, and the singer is openly gay. The Guardian reported earlier Friday that a local Russian distributor cut all scenes featuring gay sex or men kissing due to Russian laws banning “homosexual propaganda,” an estimated five minutes of total footage.John and the filmmakers said that they were unaware of the changes until today.Also Read: 'Rocketman:' What Was Elton John's Real Troubadour Concert Like?“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,” John and the filmmakers said in a statement. “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.”The Guardian says that Russian critic Anton Dolin wrote in his review 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.”The caption ahead of the film’s credits says that John now lives happily with his husband and that they are raising their children together, but according to Dolin, the Russian version says that John has established an AIDS foundation and continues to work with his musical partner.Also Read: 'Rocketman:' Watch Footage From Elton John's Dodger Stadium Performance (Videos)“Rocketman” is a biopic and jukebox musical about John’s life starring Taron Egerton and directed by Dexter Fletcher. The film opens this weekend in America as well as in 39 other territories. It opened in the UK last week.Read original story Elton John and ‘Rocketman’ Filmmakers Condemn Russian Censorship of Film At TheWrap
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CANNES, France (AP) — Elton John and his biopic "Rocketman" landed Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival, where the 72-year-old pop star came dressed in a tuxedo with "Rocket Man" emblazoned on the back and regaled attendees with an after-party performance on the beach.
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The "Piano Man" singer joked about "creating a bond between me and the audience where I know they will never pay another nickel to see me again."