Airlines lose your bags, delay your flights, charge you for Wi-Fi and now they censor your movies.
Delta Airlines restored same-sex love scenes to films “Booksmart” and “Rocketman” after passengers on flights aired their concerns online. “Booksmart” director Olivia Wilde tweeted a thread detailing everything that was cut in the edited version of her film.
Wilde said she had found out some airlines like Delta work with third-party companies to edit their movies, giving them the power to deem what is appropriate.
Booksmart tells the story of two best friends Amy, played by Kaitlyn Denver, and Molly, played by Beanie Feldstein, in their senior year of high school. They are both overachievers that have dedicated their high school years to academics and never gone to parties in hopes of getting into Ivy League colleges.
On the eve of their graduation they discover that all of their peers have gone to parties throughout high school and got into just as prestigious schools. They then make it their goal to party before high school is over.
It is an accurate portrayal of deep, genuine friendship in which they share every aspect of their life and some of the edits made to the original film take away from that.
The edited version cut the words “vagina” and “genitals” from the dialogue as well as part of a scene with stop-motion dolls, simply because they take their clothes off. The company also edited out the majority of a scene in which Amy makes out with another woman in a bathroom at a party, which leads to them having sex but never shows any nudity. This scene is important to her character development and the plot as a whole,
There is also a scene where Molly and Amy discuss what they use to masturbate, and that has also been taken out.
When you’re selecting a movie on a plane, R-rated films have a parental advisory on them for the exact purpose of letting viewers know what they are about to watch. Passengers should be trusted with the responsibility of whether they want to continue watching or not.
“What message is this sending to viewers and especially to women?” one of Wilde’s tweets read. “That their bodies are obscene? That their sexuality is shameful?”
Women and LGBT individuals’ sexuality is important for films to portray in a positive light as it is still so deeply embedded in our culture to suppress it.
“Rocketman,” the musical Elton John biopic, was also discovered to have been censored on Delta flights back in September. There is only one sex scene in the film involving John and his first boyfriend, John Reid. In addition, Out Magazine reported that Delta’s version of the film was stripped of every homosexual reference. This is integral to the plot and goes directly against John’s wishes. In the making of the movie he made it very clear that he would not sacrifice sex for a PG-13 rating.
“Some studios wanted to tone down the sex and drugs so the film would get a PG-13 rating,” John wrote. “But I just haven’t led a PG-13 rated life.”
If a scene is in a movie it has undoubtedly been put there for a reason. Removing chunks of a film is not only censoring content based on one groups opinion, it is disrespectful to the creators of the film who worked hard for their vision to come to life.
The film industry has made significant strides for homosexual representation in the last few years with films like “Call Me By Your Name” and “Moonlight,” but it is still not enough.
Many individuals have grown up never seeing themselves represented on the big screen and by censoring the few films that do have adequate representation you are telling people that they aren’t worthy of seeing stories like theirs told.
Delta said they are immediately putting a new process into place to manage content.
Hopefully Delta sets an example for other airlines to keep the films they show, complete.