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Russia slammed for censoring gay sex scenes from Elton John biopic ‘Rocketman’

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Russia slammed for censoring gay sex scenes from Elton John biopic 'Rocketman'

Russian gay rights activists and cultural figures are criticizing the local distributor of a new movie about Elton John for cutting scenes in it depicting homosexual activity and drug use.

The deletions became known last week after a Moscow screening of the film “Rocketman.”

The Moscow movie theater Pioner, noted for its adventurous programming, said it would ask for an original cut of the movie with Russian subtitles. But the theater said Sunday it had not received a response from the distributor.

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Russian news agencies reported that the distribution company said the scenes were cut to conform with Russian law but that the Ministry of Culture said it was not involved in the decision.

“In this way, the Russian distributor indirectly supports homophobia,” the Russian LGBT Network said in a Facebook statement. “We urge people not to support such a policy and not to go see the Russian version of the film.”

Although homosexuality is not criminalized in Russia, animosity toward gays remains strong. In 2013, the country passed a law banning so-called propaganda supporting non-traditional sexuality from being made available to minors.

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Trailers for the Russian version of “Rocketman” showed it carrying a rating restricting it to viewers 18 years or older.

“So, one day we woke up in Saudi Arabia,” film critic Anton Dolin said on Facebook, criticizing the cuts. He said the “most repellent” aspect of the cuts was the removal of the statement at the end of the movie that John eventually found “the love of his life” and has raised children with the man he married in 2014.

Nonetheless, Dolin said, “the theme of the hero’s homosexuality is still central in the film.”

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Ksenia Sobchak, a liberal TV star who ran for president in 2016, said purging all homosexual content from a film about the singer would make it meaningless.

A joint statement from John and the filmmakers said “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.”

John has previously criticized Russia’s law on gay “propaganda” and comments by President Vladimir Putin that suggested gay people prey on children.

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In 2015, phone pranksters tricked John into believing that he was talking to Putin about the issue. Putin actually later called the musician and said he would be willing to meet to discuss the matter, but no meeting has taken place.

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Today on Fox News, June 17, 2019

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Today on Fox News, May 7, 2019

STAY TUNED

On Fox News: 

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; Kim Goldman reacts to O.J .Simpson joining Twitter;  James Murray on his new book “The Brink.”

On Fox Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Maria Bartiromo will broadcast live from the 2019 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: “The president’s poll problem” – A new Fox News Poll shows President Trump lagging behind former Vice President Joe Biden by 10 points. GOP Strategist Brad Blakeman and Fox News contributor Richard Fowler weigh in. Monday marks 25 years since the infamous O.J. Simpson bronco chase, when he was on the run after being accused of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. Ron’s sister Kim joins the podcast to reflect. Plus, commentary by Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News senior judicial analyst

Want the Fox News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher.

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Michael Goodwin, New York Post columnist, on the mainstream media’s response to Sarah Sanders’ departure from the White House. Bret Baier, host of “Special Report” and Kennedy on the top headlines of the day. U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., on the latest in the crisis at the border. David Sanger in the latest on cyber warfare.

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Penn Jillette talks about ‘hardcore’ method to keep weight off: report

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Rep. Ilhan Omar fires back at VP Pence for saying she ‘doesn’t know what she’s talking about’ amid Venezuela remarks

Penn Jillette, half of the magic duo Penn & Teller, said in a recent interview that if you take health advice from a Vegas magician, “you are an idiot,” but said his method of fasting 23 hours a day has proven effective.

Jillette told The Los Angeles Times that his health was poor when he reached 330 pounds. He was on six different medications a 90 percent heart blockage. He said he took to the internet and sought ways to avoid surgery.

“Don’t believe those articles that say, “Just cut your portions down by 20 percent,” he told the paper. “Skip dessert” or “Cut out sodas.” Yeah, that seems logical. But it doesn’t work for me — I want to lose a pound a day. I want to see the scale go like this [points straight down]. So I went for a radical change in diet — whole-food plant-based, hard-core vegan, vegetables, no processed food, no sugar. And I limited my eating to just an hour a day, so I’m always fasting 23 hours.”

TIM McGRAW FLAUNTS TIGHT ABS, CREDITS LIFESTYLE CHANGE

He said the lifestyle is obtainable by anyone, but they just have to be committed. “Decide it’s going to be hard and do it like the other things that are hard in your life.”

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He said he cut out all processed food and eliminated pasta and bread. He said it took him three years not to want a chocolate shake. He said he still exercises but less than before.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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O.J. Simpson says Kris Jenner relationship rumors are ‘bogus’

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O.J. Simpson says Kris Jenner relationship rumors are ‘bogus’

O.J. Simpson took to Twitter Sunday afternoon to dispel rumors that he had fathered Khloe Kardashian with Kris Jenner, a rumor he says is being pushed by a man who is falsely claiming that he was his manager.

“But never – and I want to stress never – in any way shape or form had I ever had any interest in Kris, romantically, sexually, and I never got any indication that she had any interest in me,” Simpson said in a video posted on his Twitter page. “So all of these stories are just bogus. Bad, you know, tasteless.”

O.J. SIMPSON JOINS TWITTER ON 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF WIFE’S MURDER

Rumors that Simpson is Khloe’s biological father have persisted long before the famous reality TV series. The rumor even had been the subject of a National Enquirer report and an episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” which featured Khloe questioning whether she was adopted.

“Khloe, like all the (Kardashian) girls, I’m very proud of, just like I know Bob would be if he was here. But the simple facts of the matter is she’s not mine.”

Simpson blamed the rumor on Norman Pardo, a guy who “the media love to say is my manager.”

“I’ve always managed my own affairs, and I’d like to think very successfully,” Simpson said.  “So, when you see these guys like Norm, and these guys claim that they are my manager, it’s just not true. I’ve may have done a deal here or there with them, but none of these guys were anything remotely like a manager for me.”

Simpson has generally kept a low profile since his release from prison in October 2017 for robbery and kidnapping over an attempt to steal back some of his sports memorabilia from a Las Vegas hotel room.

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He appeared to join Twitter or the first time Friday, under the username @TheRealOJ32 — referencing the jersey number he wore — nearly 25 years to the day after his ex-wife’s murder.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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