Samoa is feeling the heat from LGBT activists after it banned the Elton John biopic, Rocketman, which includes a gay sex scene. The principal censor in Samoa, where sodomy is punishable by up to seven years in prison, said the film is "not good for public viewing" and "violates laws against same-sex marriage" after the country's only theater announced its screening had been canceled, per the BBC. "We're concerned with the cultural values and also the Christian beliefs here in Samoa," the censor said, per ABC Australia, which notes the Film Control Act of 1978 bars films including explicit sexual activity, sexual violence, the promotion of drugs, or religious offenses.
Samoa banned The Da Vinci Code in 2006 and Milk in 2009, though last year's Bohemian Rhapsody, telling the story of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, was shown after certain scenes were cut. John has yet to respond to the move, which activists say deprives LGBT people of representation on screen, though he previously slammed a Russian film company that opted to cut the gay sex scene. "That the local distributor has found it necessary to edit out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people," the singer said in a May 31 statement. (Read more Samoa stories.)