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Delta Responds to Outrage Over Booksmart’s Censored Lesbian Sex Scene

Delta Responds to Outrage Over Booksmart’s Censored Lesbian Sex Scene

Delta Responds to Outrage Over 'Booksmart’s Censored Lesbian Sex Scene

Director Olivia WIlde and star Beanie Felstein are heartbroken that their film has been so heavily edited.

Teen comedy Booksmartwas one of the year's most celebrated films, both for its hilarious take on female friendship and its frank depiction of sexuality -- including queer sexuality, rare for the type of film it joined the lineage of (Superbad teas). Not only did Booksmart star rising queer actress Beanie Feldstein, its main romance was between two women: Kaitlyn Dever's Amy and Diana Silvers' Hope have a hilariously tragic sex scene in the film, and eventually (spoiler alert) end up together.

But during a Q&A following a screening of the film at SCAD Savannah Film Festival, director Olivia Wilde expressed her dismay that Delta Airlines had heavily edited the film for in-flight viewing, removing any depiction of women discussing their own bodies, while leaving in a scene in which a male character is seen "deep-throating a microphone."

"What we discovered is that on certain planes, this film has been edited in a very slanted manner," Wilde explained, according to Vulture. "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.' So I'm just curious what a woman is supposed to take from that. That it's an obscenity. That it's inappropriate." Wilde was disappointed that Delta felt that profanity was fine, but not an animated sequence in which the main characters imagine themselves as naked Barbie dolls, "which by design, have no genitals, which is the entire fucking point of the scene."

Wilde also noted that the Delta version of the film completely cut out the sex scene between Dever and Silver's characters, "because it might suggest to you that women, I don't know, have bodies or can experience pleasure, or deserve it," she said. "And so that is ... it's a problem. It's a problem."

Wilde later told Varietythat "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. I'm trying to get to the bottom of it; I want people to experience the entire film."

Feldstein, who was interviewed with Wilde at the Governor's Awards, promised to get "to the bottom" of the censorship. "We're on the case to get this rectified. Our movie is a beautiful representation of the queer experience as young people," something she feels especially passionate about as a queer person. "If you can watch me and Skyler [Gisondo] kiss, you can watch Diana [Silvers] and Kaitlyn kiss." Dever called the censorship "ridiculous," adding that it makes her "so mad."

Delta has since responded, explaining that they use a third-party service to edit films for their in-flight entertainment service. "Delta's content parameters do not in any way ask for the removal of homosexual content from the film," they claimed in a statement. "We value diversity and inclusion as core to our culture and our mission and will review our processes to ensure edited video content doesn't conflict with these values."

Perhaps those values are what they should be reviewing.

RELATED | 'Booksmart' Is The Teen Comedy You've Been Waiting On

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