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Airline has stripped Elton John biopic Rocketman of ‘almost every gay reference’, including a simple same-sex kiss

Josh Milton October 31, 2019
Taron Egerton and Richard Madden as Elton John and John Reid in Rocketman

Taron Egerton and Richard Madden as Elton John and John Reid in Rocketman. (YouTube)

An American airline allegedly stripped “almost every gay reference” from the Elton John biopic Rocketman during an on-board flight.

Delta Air Lines, according to a passenger’s online testimony, screened an edited version of the music movie about the life of the gay singer.

John, 72, as well as LGBT+ campaign groups have repeatedly called out countries that censored gay scenes from the film.

Rocketman ‘stripped of almost every fay reference’, says Delta customer

Entertainment Weekly digital director Shana Krochmal took to Twitter to detail her recent Delta Air Line flight on October 30.

“On Delta today discovered that Rocketman is stripped of almost every gay reference or scene that [Elton John] fought to keep in the film’s mainstream release, including a simple chaste kiss,” she wrote.

She added: “What does it say that the edit left in a scene of John Reid assaulting Elton but removed any evidence of intimacy between them or for that matter Elton and any man?

“What is that saying is OK?”

Krochmal stressed that it’s commonplace for passengers to watch downloaded movies on phones and tablets “in full view” which “seems especially egregious.”

“I am about 99 percent sure I saw a fully uncensored R-rated version on Air Canada earlier this year,” she added.

‘Huh this is a lot less gay than I heard’: Passengers reportedly screened censored Rocketman, too

Moreover, it seems that Krochmal is not alone here – an array of other users alleged similar experiences of censored Rocketman editions.

While some noted that the airline reportedly doesn’t censor certain explicit scenes in other films, such as in Long Shot.

The airline has, in the past, stressed that it does not have the right to chop and change the films it screens on its crafts. Instead, it offers the edited versions that are provided by film studios, according to the Advocate.

A Delta Air Line spokesperson told PinkNews: “Delta’s content parameters do not in any way ask for the removal of homosexual content from the film.

“We value diversity and inclusion as core to our culture and our mission and will review our processes to ensure edited video content doesn’t conflict with these values.”

Russia ripped all gay references from Rocketman

When Rocketman hit Russian movie theatres earlier this year, actors and filmmakers lampooned it for being heavily censored, with near all references to queer sexuality as well as drugs chopped.

John and the makers of the biopic issued a statement condemning the censorship “in the strongest possible terms.”

“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,” the statement said.

Local journalists in Moscow reported that a pre-screening of Rocketman had an estimated five minutes of the film had been removed.

More: censorship, delta, Elton John, rocketman

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