Elton John called recent statements made by Russian president Vladimir Putin about Russia’s LGBTQ+ populations hypocritical. The remark comes in response to a recent interview that Putin gave to the Financial Times.
In the paywalled interview, Putin he said that while he’s willing to “let everyone be happy,” he also fears that certain lifestyle choices could “overshadow…traditional family values.” In May, the Guardian reported that Russia had censored scenes from the recent Elton John film Rocketman, citing national laws banning “homosexual propaganda.” Since then, both John and the Rocketman filmmakers have condemned Russia’s decision to remove LGBTQ content from the film.
In a new statement obtained by TheWrap, the “Tiny Dancer” vocalist says he’s frustrated by Putin’s latest remarks. “I find duplicity in your comment that you want LGBT people to ‘be happy’ and that ‘we have no problem in that,'” John shared in the statement. “Yet Russian distributors chose to heavily censor my ‘Rocketman’ film by removing all references to my finding true happiness through my 25 year relationship with David [Furnish] and the raising of my two beautiful sons. This feels like hypocrisy to me.”
In May, John released a joint statement with the Rocketman filmmakers addressing the censorship incident. “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,” the group initially stated. “We believe in building bridges and opening dialogue and will continue to push for the breaking down of barriers until all people are heard equally across the world.”
Read John’s full response to 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.
#LOVEISLOVE #WORLDPRIDE @ejaf