The Elton John biopic Rocketman staring Taron Egerton has been banned in Samoa, with the country’s censorship office citing the films gay scenes as the catalyst.
According to ABC News, Apollo Cinemas, in Samoa’s capital Apia, wrote on Facebook that due to “censoring issues” it had to cancel the film.
This was later confirmed by the theatre’s technical specialist Simon Kenchington, who said the film was rejected by Samoa’s censorship office due to “homosexual content.”
It is reported that under Samoa’s strict film classification guide, films that include explicit sexual activity, explicit sexual violence, offence to religion, or the promotion of drugs are subject to bans within the island nation.
Speaking to ABC News, Kenchington added that, it was not his place to say what was right and wrong, however, the film’s ban would in fact cost the cinema money.
Despite a United Nations study which concluded that Samoa has an estimated 30,000 gay men living in the nation (15% of the population) it is currently illegal to be homosexual, and those convicted could face up to five years in prison.
The films baning in Samoa follows censorship in Russia in which gay sense were removed from the film in order to appease Russia’s homophobic ‘gay propaganda’ laws.
Rocketman made Hollywood history in becoming the first major studio release to include an on-screen gay male sex scene.