What’s so inappropriate about same-sex love scenes? That’s what Olivia Wilde wanted to know when she became aware that Delta Airlines’ in-flight version of Booksmart omitted key LGBTQ+ love scenes for Kaitlyn Dever‘s lead character Amy.
But after Booksmart director Wilde brought attention to the double standard of Delta’s version of the film showing a heterosexual kiss but not a kiss between two women, Delta has announced that it is restoring same-sex love scenes to that in-flight movie along with those in Rocketman, EW has confirmed.
“We are immediately putting a new process in place for managing content available through Delta’s in-flight entertainment,” Delta said in a statement. “Studios often provide videos in two forms: a theatrical, original version and an edited version. We selected the edited version and now realize content well within our guidelines was unnecessarily excluded from both films. We are working to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
“The studio has agreed to provide a special Delta edit that retains the LGBTQ+ love scenes in both Booksmart and Rocketman that will be on our flights as soon as possible,” the statement continued. “Currently, we have Gentleman Jack, Imagine Me and You, and Moonlight onboard and countless content in the past that clearly shows it is not our practice to omit LGBTQ+ love scenes.”
Wilde celebrated the good news by tweeting, “Thank you, @delta.”
After a fan tweeted about how the “lesbian hookup scene” wasn’t included in Delta’s in-flight version of Booksmart, Wilde investigated the issue further. “This is truly a bummer,” she wrote as she retweeted the news. “There is no nudity in this scene. What makes it too obscene for airplane viewing?… Censoring the word lesbian is just bats–t insane what is going on.”
This is truly a bummer. There is no nudity in this scene. What makes it too obscene for airplane viewing? What airline? https://t.co/5QwlomY2fR— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) October 27, 2019
Censoring the word lesbian is just batshit insane what is going on 😳 https://t.co/Rdq2wh68QO— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) October 28, 2019
Then Wilde took it upon herself to watch an unspecified airline’s version of Booksmart to see what exactly had been edited out, and she was not happy with what she found, especially since viewers have to accept a “parental advisory” before watching.
“Turns out some airlines work with a third party company that edits the movie based on what they deem inappropriate. Which, in our case, is … female sexuality?” she tweeted.
I finally had the chance to watch an edited version of Booksmart on a flight to see exactly what had been censored. Turns out some airlines work with a third party company that edits the movie based on what they deem inappropriate. Which, in our case, is ... female sexuality? 🤔— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) October 30, 2019
First of all, in order to select this movie from hundreds of options, you have to agree to a “parental advisory” that warns you that viewer discretion is advised. Once you click “proceed” it seems like you’ve agreed to watch the movie in its original form. Instead...— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) October 30, 2019
— They muted or cut the word “vagina.” VAGINA.— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) October 30, 2019
— They removed Molly’s entire scissoring sequence. (No scissor emoji?! Thread for another time...)
— They Molly’s masturbating and UTI story (it didn’t end well).
— They cut the porn moment in the Lyft (our Oscar clip).
— They cut the second half of the animated doll sequence — because naked doll bodies - made for children - are too shocking even with no genitals. Speaking of which, they cut the word “genitals.”— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) October 30, 2019
— Most disappointingly, they cut most of Amy and Hope’s love scene in the bathroom, which involves zero nudity, but does involve an essential plot point for a lead character. Wtfffff.— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) October 30, 2019
By the way, they didn’t cut ANY cursing. Every “fuck” is heard loud and clear, sometimes in the same scene where they muted “vagina." 🤯. They showed George (elegantly) deep-throating a microphone but couldn’t stomach a consensual love scene between two women.— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) October 30, 2019
What message is this sending to viewers and especially to women? That their bodies are obscene? That their sexuality is shameful?— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) October 30, 2019
I urge every airline, especially those who pride themselves on inclusivity, to stop working with this third party company, and trust the parental advisory warning to allow viewers to opt out if they choose.— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) October 30, 2019
And then just a few days later, EW’s own Shana Krochmal discovered that the same issue affected Delta’s in-flight version of Elton John biopic Rocketman. “On @Delta today discovered that #Rocketman is stripped of almost every gay reference or scene that @eltonofficial fought to keep in the film’s mainstream release, including a simple chaste kiss,” she tweeted.
On @Delta today discovered that #Rocketman is stripped of almost every gay reference or scene that @eltonofficial fought to keep in the film’s mainstream release, including a simple chaste kiss. This ⬇️ is good context but it’s still frustrating. https://t.co/4CY4Tl8PHh— shana (@shananaomi) October 30, 2019
As @yayponies pointed out in a very justified rant, what does it say that the edit left in a scene of John Reid assaulting Elton but removed any evidence of intimacy between them or for that matter Elton and any man? What is that saying is OK?— shana (@shananaomi) October 30, 2019
Since in-flight films are edited by the studios or third-party vendors and airlines then select a version from their edit, a spokesperson for Delta says that the airline did not edit or ask for any specific edits to the films. But now they are working to make sure that this issue is fixed.