Following backlash regarding alleged censorship of in-flight movies, Delta Air Lines has announced that it will now show the unedited versions of films like Booksmart and Rocketman.
"We are immediately putting a new process in place for managing content available through Delta’s in-flight entertainment," airline spokesperson Emma Kate Protis told USA Today 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."
Social media users became aware of the issue after Booksmart director Olivia Wilde called out the seemingly unnecessary edits on Twitter when she discovered that certain parts of her film that were cut — including key plot points — because they alluded to same-sex relationships and female sexuality – even going so far as to cut or mute words like “lesbian,” “genitals,” and “vagina.”
Wilde also pointed out how third-party editing companies seem to selectively choose what content is deemed “inappropriate,” saying that curse words were left in. Wilde did not name any specific airline in her comments, though other users on Twitter pointed out that Delta was one airline that had contributed to the heavy censorship, noting that the Elton John biopic, Rocketman, was also similarly censored.
Delta said to The Washington Post in a statement at the time that its “content parameters do not in any way ask for the removal of homosexual content from the film.”
Going forward, censored versions of both Booksmart and Rocketman will be replaced with specially edited versions that include same-sex love scenes as soon as possible. Protis reiterated Delta’s statement that the company does not knowingly edit scenes because of LGBTQ content.
“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,” Protis mentioned.