Samoa bans Elton John movie ‘Rocketman’ due to homosexuality

Samoa bans Elton John movie ‘Rocketman’ due to homosexuality
Taron Egerton attends the premiere of "Rocketman" at Alice Tully Hall on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) (Source: Charles Sykes)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - The Pacific nation of Samoa has banned the Elton John biopic "Rocketman" because of its depictions of homosexuality.

About 97% 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 that the homosexual activity depicted on screen violated laws and didn't sit well with the country's cultural and Christian beliefs.

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.

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