Booksmart & Rocketman cuts to be fully restored to Delta Airlines flights

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The same-sex love scenes of Booksmart and Rocketman had reportedly been cut from their in-flight versions but will now be added back in.

After some controversy last week, when director Olivia Wilde publicly complained that her breakout film Booksmart had been edited for its in-flight entertainment version for Delta Airlines, Collider has reported that Delta has now announced that the full edit will be restored, along with Rocketman too, which will also have its brief love scene reinserted.

In the case of Booksmart especially, the cuts were especially egregious considering the same-sex love scene that was cut out is crucial to the development of one of the film’s main characters. Further compounding the anger of director Olivia Wilde and the film’s many fans, the movie’s uses of crude language had been left in, causing Wilde to use YouTube and Twitter to question the message this censorship was sending to gay people about the legitimacy of their relationships.

The director also questioned the underlying message towards women’s bodies when they are being censored whilst explicit language isn’t, arguing that it frames the female body as ‘obscene.’ It’s worth mentioning that the scene in question contains no nudity, and that the word ‘lesbian’ was cut from the film whereas some curse words weren’t. Wilde had this to say to Variety:

“I don’t understand it. There’s censorship, airline to airline, of films, which there must be some kind of governing board to determine. We rate it a certain way. If it’s not X-rated, surely it’s acceptable on an airplane. There’s insane violence of bodies being smashed in half and yet a love scene between two women is censored from the film […] It’s such an integral part of this character’s journey. I don’t understand it. My heart just broke.”

Following the furore, Delta Airlines has released a statement where it apologised and announced that the removed scenes will be restored. The company goes on to explain that an outside firm handles their in-flight entertainment edits and that relationship will be reviewed.

“We are immediately putting a new process in place for managing content available through Delta’s in-flight entertainment. 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”, it said.

“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. Currently, we have Gentleman JackImagine 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.”

Hopefully that puts an end to the matter, but should there be more to this story, we’ll let you know.

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