CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 16: Sir Elton John and Taron Egerton attends the screening of "Rocketman" during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2019 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Taron Egerton plays Elton John in Rocketman (Picture: Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Elton John has criticised Russia following claims scenes featuring homosexuality were edited out of biopic Rocketman.

According to reports, a Russian media company is believed to have removed around five minutes of footage due to laws which ban homosexual propaganda in cinema since 2013.

A Russian film critic, Anton Dolin, detailed on Facebook how all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut out, and claimed they changed a line at the end of the film where Elton discusses raising kids with his husband.

Elton John and the filmmakers behind Rocketman have since issued a joint statement regarding the edited scenes, which reads: We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local news and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today.

Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Appleby/Paramount/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (10242448ak) Taron Egerton as Elton John 'Rocketman' Film - 2019 A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John's breakthrough years.

Its believed all the gay scenes in Rocketman have been cut (Picture: David Appleby/Paramount/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

Paramount Pictures have been brave and bold partners in allowing us to create a film which is a true representation of Eltons extraordinary life, warts and all.

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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.

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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 films lead star Taron Egerton, 29, has also condemned the decision on Instagram, writing: I am crestfallen that the decision was made to censor our movie for the Russian market.

Taron Egerton has hit out at Russia

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