Elton John
Elton John smiles during a lecture on 'The Diana, Princess of Wales Lecture on HIV' at French Institute South Kensington on June 8, 2018, in London, England. Getty Images/Chris Jackson

Elton John has lashed out at the Russian President Vladmir Putin for making comments critical to the LGBTQ community.

Putin, in an interview with the Financial Times, had said that traditional values are more stable and more important for millions of people than this liberal idea. “We have no problem with LGBT persons. God forbid, let them live as they wish. But some things do appear excessive to us. They claim now that children can play five or six gender roles,” he said.

The Russian president explained that everyone should be happy. “But this must not be allowed to overshadow the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population.”

Reports said Kremlin distributors censored John’s biopic Rocketman, which features his life and career. The 72-year-old musician, who is known for the song Candle in the Wind for the late Princess Diana, wrote a letter to Putin to express his disagreement. “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,” he wrote. “I find duplicity in your comment that you want LGBT people to ‘be happy’ and that ‘we have no problem in that’.”

John highlighted that Russian distributors chose to heavily censor his film Rocketman. According to Newsweek, the distributors removed all references to the Honky Cat singer finding true happiness through his 25-year relationship with husband David Furnish and their two sons. He had tweeted his family photo with the word censorship written across. “This feels like hypocrisy to me,” said the English singer. “I am proud to live in a part of the world where our governments have evolved to recognize the universal human right to love whoever we want,” he added.

Meanwhile, the director of Amnesty International’s Russia office, Natalia Zviagina, in a statement described the homophobic censorship of Elton John’s biopic film "as ridiculous as it is insulting" for LGBTQ people. Zviagina also called out the censorship for insulting and dehumanizing same-sex relationships.

In 2015, Elton John had said he would try to positively influence the Russian President’s gay rights attitude.