Samoa bans ‘Rocketman’ over gay sex scenes

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“Rocketman,” the fantasy musical biopic about Elton John, has been banned in Samoa by the country’s censor Leiataua Niuapu Faaui over its depiction of homosexuality.

Faaui told newspaper Samoa Observer that the film conflicted with Samoa’s “culture and our Christian beliefs” and that it is “not good for public viewing and violates laws against same-sex marriage.”

“Unfortunately due to censoring issues we have had to cancel ‘Rocketman’,” Apollo Cinemas, located in Samoa’s capital Apia, said on its Facebook page.“It’s a good story, in that it’s about an individual trying to move on in life. He (Elton John) went through a difficult family life and managed to move on and become very successful. But there are acts that are not good for public viewing and against the law.”

According to Reuters, Samoa’s almost 200,000 population is 97 percent Christian. Sodomy is a crime in the South Pacific island country and punishable by up to seven years in prison.

The film also faced opposition in Russia where the country’s distributor censored the film’s scenes of gay sex and drug use.

Photo of Taron Egerton as Elton John in ‘Rocketman’ by David Appleby, courtesy Paramount.

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