Elton John biopic 'Rocketman' is banned in Samoa over gay sex scenes

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Taron Egerton as Elton John (Credit: Paramount)

Rocketman, the Elton John biopic, has reportedly been banned in Samoa because of its depiction of gay sex.

Samoa, the independent state in the South Pacific, is devoutly Christian, with even consenting homosexual sex being punishable with seven years in prison.

The Apollo Cinema in the capital of Apia confirmed via a Facebook post: “Unfortunately due to censoring issues we have had to cancel 'Rocketman.'”

Read more: Russia censors Rocketman

Leiataua Niuapu Faaui, the principal censor for the government, told the Samoa Observer that the film is 'not good for public viewing and violates laws against same-sex marriage'.

The censor added that the movie's themes do not 'go well with cultural and Christian beliefs here', though they concede that 'it's a good story, in that it's about an individual trying to move on in life'.

Movies including the 2008 biopic Milk, starring Sean Penn as the first openly gay elected official in the state of California, and The Da Vinci Code were also banned in Samoa.

The plot of The Da Vinci Code is built on the premise that Christ and Mary Magdalene were married and had children.

Rocketman features a number of scenes in which Taron Egerton's Elton John and Richard Madden's John Reid, his former manager, kiss and make love.

Read more: Elton didn't want to leave out drugs, sex in Rocketman

There are also some scenes of drug use.

The movie has also been banned in Egypt, over its 'anti-religious statements', and though it's been released in Russia, distributors have cut out the sex scenes.

The singer issued an angry statement in response to the Russian censorship.