Rocketman: Samoa bans Elton John biopic over gay scenes, says 'it clashes with country’s cultural beliefs'

FP Staff

Jun 12, 2019 17:55:43 IST

The Pacific nation of Samoa has banned singer-songwriter Elton John's biopic Rocketman over its depiction of homosexuality. The Samoan government has banned the widely acclaimed Taron Egerton starrer film from screening in the South Pacific island country, reported Entertainment Weekly.

Breaking the news on Facebook, the Apollo Cinemas Samoa wrote, "Unfortunately due to censoring issues we have had to cancel Rocketman."

Rocketman: Samoa bans Elton John biopic over gay scenes, says it clashes with country’s cultural beliefs

A still from Rocketman. YouTube

The film follows John's journey starting from a young piano prodigy named Reginald Dwight, to a rockstar struggling with addiction who finally finds his way to sobriety. The biopic is directed by Dexter Fletcher and is produced by Elton and his husband David Furnish.

According to Samoa's principal censor Leiataua Niuapu Faaui, the film clashes with the country's culture and its Christian beliefs.

"(The film is) not good for public viewing and violates laws against same-sex marriage," Faaui asserted.

Reportedly, the film features multiple instances of intimate same-sex acts, including a kiss between a young John and an American musician. In addition to this, the biopic also features an explicit sex scene involving John and his former manager John Reid, played by Richard Madden.

Earlier this week, the makers of Rocketman and Elton John blasted the Russian distributor of the film for removing same-sex intimate scenes from the musical biopic.

Samoa, which is home to about 200,000 people, also banned the 2008 movie Milk, in which actor Sean Penn portrayed American gay activist Harvey Milk.

Since opening 10 days ago, Rocketman has taken in about $101 million at theaters around the world.

(With inputs from agencies)

Updated Date: Jun 12, 2019 17:55:43 IST