Delta Restoring Same-Sex Love Scenes to ‘Booksmart,’ ‘Rocketman’ In-Flight Movies

Bowing to social media pressure, Delta Air Lines said it would restore same-sex love scenes edited out of two feature-length movies, Booksmart and Rocketman, available on its flights.

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

Delta’s hub city Atlanta has one of the largest gay populations in the country, including one of the most politically active.

The statement said studios typically provide in-flight movies in 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,” read the statement. “We are working to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

The controversy arose this week after actress Olivia Wilde took to Twitter to voice her surprise that Delta was screening a version of her directorial debut, Booksmart, about two female coming-of-age high school teens, had omitted all gay references.

“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?” Wilde tweeted Oct. 30.

Separately, Buzzfeed reported Delta had also restored all gay references in Elton John biopic Rocketman, starring Taron Egerton.

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“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,” Delta said. “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.”

Delta Air Lines Accused of Censoring In-Flight Movies

Delta Air Lines is denying it censors pay-per-view movies made available aboard its flights.

The issue emerged on social media this week when actress Olivia Wilde questioned on Twitter why a lesbian sex scene and the words “vagina” and “genitals” had been cut from her directorial debut, Booksmart.

The coming-of-age comedy about two high-school girls (Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein) attempting to ditch their studious ways is executive produced by Will Ferrell and Jason Sudeikis. It has generated about $25 million at the box office worldwide since its May theatrical release.

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“I finally had the chance to watch an edited version of Booksmart on a flight to see exactly what had been censored,” Wilde tweeted on Oct. 30. “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

Similar accusations against Delta surfaced regarding editing out gay references in the Elton John biopic Rocketman and the Chris Rock comedy Carol.

Delta, in a media statement, said it routinely offers edited and non-edited versions of movies on flights. It insisted it does not mandate any “homosexual content” be removed from in-flight entertainment.

“We value our inflight entertainment options as a means to reflect the diversity of the world,” the Atlanta-based carrier stated. “We are reviewing the processes of our third-party editing vendors to ensure that they are aligned with our values of diversity and inclusion.”

Booksmart was released into retail channels on Sept. 3 by Disney/Fox Studios.