‘Rocketman’ Banned In Samoa Over Gay Scenes
Rocketman has run into a roadblock in Samoa. The South Pacific nation has banned the Elton John biopic over its depictions of homosexuality.
The film was banned last week because it clashed with Samoa’s “culture and our Christian beliefs”, the censor, Leiataua Niuapu Faaui, told the Samoa Observer newspaper on Monday.
“Unfortunately due to censoring issues we have had to cancel ‘Rocketman’,” Apollo Cinemas, in the Samoan capital Apia, said on its Facebook page.
The censor did concede, “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.”
Rocketman, starring Taron Egerton, focuses on Elton John’s childhood and life of excess in the 1970s and 80s.
Scenes that feature gay sex and drug use also were censored by a Russian distributor. In a joint statement with the filmmakers, John wrote hat it was 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.”
Samoa also banned the 2008 movie Milk, starring Sean Penn as American gay activist Harvey Milk.
Rocketman has grossed about $101 million worldwide at the box office since its May 31st opening.