Support The Moscow Times!

Gay Sex Scene Cut From Tucci, Firth Drama in Russia – Reports

“Supernova” tells the story of a couple revisiting their past after a life-changing diagnosis. World Pictures

Russian movie distributors have self-censored a gay sex scene from “Supernova,” a British love story starring Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth that was released in Russia on Thursday, media reported.

Citing viewers who had also watched the original edit, the DTF culture and tech platform said “at least one scene where the characters try to have sex after a dramatic dialogue has disappeared from the story.”

“Still, several viewers of the stripped-down version confirmed that it’s clear from the context even after self-censorship that the characters are a couple,” it reported.

According to author and critic Konstantin Kropotkin, “Supernova’s” Russian distributor World Pictures went to the cutting board out of fear that movie theaters would refuse to release it and its premiere would be mired in “excesses.”

The company appeared to be concerned about Russia’s law banning “homosexual propaganda to minors” (though “Supernova” is rated “18+” for mature audiences) and past attacks on venues that had screened controversial movies.

Russian multimedia project Snob further reported, citing its deputy chief editor, that World Pictures had asked it to remove all mentions of the word “gay” from its reviews. 

A film.ru review published Wednesday noted that the self-censorship backfired and “made this love story even more poignant and delicate.”

“Now the ‘Russian’ version of ‘Supernova’ even more clearly shows the huge social gap between us and the conventional West,” wrote critic Yefim Gugnin.

Director Harry Macqueen’s “Supernova” follows in the footsteps of Disney’s “Onward,” the Elton John biopic “Rocketman” and Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame,” which all have shorter runtimes in Russia due to LGBT-related content

The “Rocketman” scandal prompted the iconic British musician to openly criticize President Vladimir Putin’s LGBT rights record. In response, Putin railed against “five genders and transformers” in what conservative Russia refers to as the liberal West. 

Russia has also previously canceled screenings of historical dramas and comedies, including “The Death of Stalin” and “Child 44,” for their portrayal of sensitive subjects from the Soviet era.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.