There are a few people I always read on Twitter. I love a lot of the great comedians. You know, I love Albert Brooks. I love Steve Martin. I love Billy Eichner, his Twitter actually always makes me laugh. So maybe Billy on the streets Billy Eichner is probably my favorite tweeter out there at the moment. Then there's also Sara Walker she's @swalks she's a great comedienne. And Kelly Oxford who's a friend and a wonderful blogger and writer and she's just hysterical. My favorite tweet of hers is, anbody know how to get a wine stain off a baby? I was like, yes. Follow, follow.
If you saw Booksmart at the movies, you got a very different experience from anyone who managed to catch the movie 30,000 feet up in the air. Olivia Wilde, who directed the film, posted a string of tweets explaining that Delta Airlines used a third-party censor that was supposed to edit the dialogue to remove profanity, but cut out important parts of the film along with it.
During a talk at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival, Wilde said that she felt her film was subject to sexist bias, because many of the scenes that were cut involved women's sexuality and scenes that she saw as "boys behaving lewdly" were kept without an issue. The Cut notes that several same-sex scenes were removed, as well.
"What we discovered is that on certain planes, this film has been edited in a very slanted manner. That there are certain words and certain scenes that are cut out, that aren’t the swear words. It's 'fuck, fuck, fuck' all day, but they removed the word 'masturbation,' they removed the word 'vagina,'" Wilde said during the Q&A. "So I'm just curious what a woman is supposed to take from that. That it's an obscenity. That it's inappropriate. You can say 'fuck, fuck, fuck" [...] But you can't show the Barbie sequence when they take off their Barbie clothes and have Barbie boobs, which by design, have no genitals, which is the entire fucking point of the scene."
She urged other female filmmakers to review the airline edits of their films, because she had no idea what was happening to her movie before it was approved for airline use.
"I think it's like, make movies that are, you know, authentic, and talk about real things," she said. "And then protect those movies and don't let anybody censor you."
She elaborated on Twitter, noting that words such as "UTI" were cut along with scenes that involved no nudity and pushed the plot along. She stated that the reason for the edits was probably due to the fact that the scene involved two women. She also added that before viewers could elect to view the film, they had to acknowledge a parental advisory.
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
Back in 2012, director Robert Mulligan took his name off the film The Man in the Moon after American Airlines and Delta edited his movie. According to Roger Ebert, the film that aired on planes listed the director as R. Duffy.
"The airlines demanded so many excessive and unreasonable cuts and changes that I took my name off the film," Mulligan said after he saw the edits. "It's the first time I've ever done that."
Mulligan added that he doesn't mind the airline policy of cutting nudity and profanity. What they did to his movie just went too far.
"But now the airlines are going far beyond that," he said. "What they're doing falls somewhere between the ridiculous and outright censorship."
Mulligan's situation made headlines because of how rare it is for anyone to mention the airline cuts of films, mostly because legally, they can't.
Roger Ebert notes that "revenues from sales to airlines are an important source of income for Hollywood, and most contracts for in-flight films include a clause in which the studios or filmmakers agree to make no public statements about alterations to their work."
Wilde may not have read the fine print — or she simply doesn't care. Either way, it's clear that something has to change.