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Samoa Bans 'Rocketman' from Cinemas Over Gay Sex Scenes

Samoa Bans 'Rocketman' from Cinemas Over Gay Sex Scenes”

Rocketman will not be screened in cinemas in Samoa after the country's chief censor declared the depiction of homosexuality 'not good for public viewing'.

Samoa's film censor has banned Elton John rock biopic Rocketman because of its gay content.

About 97 percent of Samoa's almost 200,000 people are Christians and sodomy is a crime in the island nation. Under Samoa's 2013 Crimes Act, sodomy has deemed an offense that is punishable by up to seven years in prison, even if both parties consent.

"We're concerned with the cultural values and also the Christian beliefs here in Samoa - it's not appropriate for public viewing", censor Leiataua Niuapu Faaui said. Queen sold one item per minute after releasing Bohemian Rhapsody last fall; eBay says John will likely meet the same mark.

'This censorship is yet another way for moral seekers to bash a few people for no good reason, ' Tuisina Ymania Brown, a Samoan fa'afafine who is co-secretary of Geneva-based rights group ILGA.

"Now are we saying that art that celebrates fa'afafines are not allowed?"

'The power of the church has now reached into censoring the celebration of art.

And fans attending were in for a surprise when Rocketman star Taron Egerton joined Elton onstage for a thrilling performance of Your Song.

Last month, it was reported that Russian Federation had censored scenes of gay sex from "Rocketman", an action that earned a sharp criticism from John and the filmmakers. It now maintains a 90% "Certified Fresh" rating based on 300 reviews on aggregate Rotten Tomatoes and has grossed over $100 million at the global box office on a budget of $40 million.



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