Samoa bans Elton John movie Rocketman over depiction of homosexuality

Brenda Watkins
June 12, 2019

Matthew Vaughn and his Marv Films produced the film alongside Elton John with his Rocket Pictures partner David Furnish.

It's been nearly two weeks since the Elton John biopic Rocketman wowed critics and audiences alike with its debut in theaters and with the legendary singer now in the midst of his farewell tour, he surprised those in attendance of his Brighton & Hove audience by inviting his film counterpart Taron Egerton to perform a duet of "Your Song", which can be viewed in the player below!

"About 97% of people in Samoa identify as Christian, and the society is generally considered conservative and traditional", reports the outlet.

In a statement to the Samoa Observer, Leiataua Niuapu Faaui, the country's principal censor, conceded that Rocketman tells "a good story, in that it's about an individual trying to move on in life".

"He (Elton John) went through a hard family life and managed to move on and become very successful", said the censor. In 2013, a Crimes Act was passed in the country that deemed sodomy an offense punishable by up to seven years in prison, even if both parties consented.

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The movie examines John's sexuality and relationship with then-manager John Reid.

Rocketman also fell prey to censorship in Russian Federation, where about five minutes of the film were cut because those scenes contained queer content.

John previously said he was very pleased with Egerton's portrayal of him in the movie: "It was so important that the music I composed and recorded had to be sung by Taron".

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.

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