Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Russia Cuts Gay Sex Scene From Stanley Tucci & Colin Firth's Supernova 

Supernova

A gay sex scene was cut from Supernova in Russian theaters.

The Moscow Times reports that the film, which stars Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as long-term partners coping with one's dementia diagnosis, was self-censored by film distributors there. “At least one scene where the characters try to have sex after a dramatic dialogue has disappeared from the story," local outlets report.

World Pictures, the film's Russian distributor, cut the scene due to concerns that theaters would not screen Supernova and it may spark controversy due to "excesses," according to critic Konstantin Kropotkin. These fears are rooted in Russia's "gay propaganda" law, which prohibits LGBTQ+ visibility in venues accessible to minors. This law has been used to penalize people and productions for a broad and often vague range of violations.

In 2019, distributors nixed scenes of gay intimacy in Rocketman, the Elton John biopic, due to similar fears of breaking this law. Disney’s Onward and Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame likewise cut queer moments. However, Supernova is rated 18+ in Russia, which would prevent minors from viewing the film regardless. Additionally, "it’s clear from the context even after self-censorship that the characters are a couple,” viewers reported to The Moscow Times.

In addition to cutting a scene, World Pictures reportedly asked critics to remove any mention of "gay" from reviews. That intent "backfired," the Times noted, as critics stressed how the censorship only further enhanced the film's love story and the heartfelt performances of its actors.

After Rocketman was censored, John and other producers released a statement saying they "reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market." They called the cutting "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 Advocate reached out to Firth, Tucci, and director  Harry Macqueen for comment; they had not responded by the time of this article's publishing.

Firth and Tucci — and their performances in the British drama — are featured in the current cover story of The Advocate. In it, the actors discussed the joy of bringing the stories of these gay characters to life. “It can be a very positive experience of commonality,” Firth said, “which perhaps would have been undiscovered otherwise.”

Tags: film, Russia

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