The war of words between the two men began last week after Putin gave an interview to The Financial Times where he argued that anti-LGBT attitudes were not prevalent in Russia.
“I am not trying to insult anyone because we have been condemned for our alleged homophobia,” Putin said in the interview published Thursday. “But 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.”
John took to Twitter to express his disapproval of the interview, saying he was left “deeply upset” by Putin’s remarks and pointing to the fact that gay sex scenes and references to John’s same-sex marriage with David Furnish and their raising of adopted children were scrubbed from the recent biopic film Rocketman under Russia’s law against gay “propaganda.”
“I didn’t overstate anything,” Putin continued. “We have a law that everybody is angry at us because of the law that doesn’t allow propaganda of homosexuals among underage population. Let’s let the kids grow and then let them decide what they want to do.”
Elton John, having once been famously duped into believing he was discussing the issue with Putin over the phone. After publicly revealing the contents of the supposed conversation, the singer was later left red-faced after it emerged that he had fallen for a prank.