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.”
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.
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.
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.