The Pacific nation of Samoa has banned the Elton John biopic Rocketman because of its depictions of homosexuality.
About 97 percent of people in Samoa identify as Christian, and the society is generally considered conservative and traditional. Under Samoa’s 2013 Crimes Act, sodomy is deemed an offense that is punishable by up to seven years in prison, even if both parties consent.
Samoa’s principal censor, Leiataua Niuapu Faaui, told the Samoa Observer on Tuesday that the homosexual activity depicted on screen violated laws and didn’t sit well with the country’s cultural and Christian beliefs.
The censor did concede to the newspaper that, “It’s a good story, in that it’s about an individual trying to move on in life.”
Apollo Cinemas Samoa wrote on Facebook that “due to censoring issues we have had to cancel Rocketman.”
The movie examines John’s sexuality and relationship with then-manager John Reid. It stars Taron Egerton, who does his own singing as John in the musical fantasy that aims to capture the essence of the musician’s life.
Since opening 10 days ago, Rocketman has taken in about $101 million at theaters around the world.
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