Olivia Wilde is disappointed that airline edited out a key scene from Booksmart (spoilers)

Mild spoilers for Booksmart follow
A few weeks ago. I wrote about a Teen Vogue interview with Beanie Feldstein, star of Booksmart. This was Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, which tells the story of two best friends who are about to graduate from high school and realize that they should have enjoyed themselves more and attempt to make up for lost time in a single night. If you want to see it, make sure to see it in a theater and not an airplane, as the latter could mean that you’ll end up seeing an edited, censored version. Olivia was alerted to this by someone who saw it on an airplane and noticed the change. Here’s her Twitter exchange about that.

Olivia and Beanie also spoke to Variety about it at the Governor’s Awards on Sunday:

“I don’t understand it,” Wilde told Variety’s Marc Malkin on the red carpet at the Academy’s Governors Awards on Sunday night. “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.”

She continued, “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.”

Wilde did not name an airline censoring “Booksmart” during the red carpet. However, social media reports called out Delta in particular for editing down the queer storyline.

Feldstein similarly 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,” the actor, who first read about the news on Twitter during her car ride to the award show, said. “I’m a queer person. So we’re getting to the bottom of it, don’t worry. If you can watch me and Skyler [Gisondo] kiss, you can watch Diana [Silvers] and Kaitlyn kiss.”

[From Variety]

Good. People figured out that the airline was Delta. The airline told Variety:

“Delta’s content parameters do not in any way ask for the removal of homosexual content from the film. 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.”

Apparently, a third party vendor edits the films that are shown on Delta planes, and gives Delta both the edited and unedited versions. If something in the unedited version doesn’t fit Delta’s guidelines, they use the edited version. So, in other words, according to Delta, there would have been something else in the film that justified using the edited version. But if that were the case, what standards is the third-party vendor using to evaluate films that led them to cut scenes between two women kissing?

Delta is trying to throw the third-party vendor under the bus, but at the end of the day, it was the airline’s decision to show the edited film, period. I hope this outcry leads Delta to show the unedited version of the film. I’m so sorry that this has happened to Olivia and the rest of the cast and crew, especially for Olivia’s directorial debut. I haven’t seen Booksmart, yet, but am looking forward to it!




Photos credit: WENN

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8 Responses to “Olivia Wilde is disappointed that airline edited out a key scene from Booksmart (spoilers)”

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  1. Sarah says:

    Just makes me wonder who calls the shots on what gets censored. A few years ago I was traveling on Etihad. I don’t remember the movie I was watching but there was a scene at a dining table. The airline pixelated a roasted pork loin on the dining table throughout the scene. I’m Muslim and I really wouldn’t have been offended had I seen a roasted pork. I mean I’m able to go grocery shopping without losing my marbles.

  2. PizzaLove says:

    Maybe it was the nudity? I travel with kids and I don’t want them watching any nude sex scenes on a screen next to us.

    • Turtledove says:

      Pizzalove I thought that too, but saw the movie and I don’t think they showed nudity in that scene. I think the actors stripped down to underwear/bras? I don’t remember for sure though.

    • TJ says:

      Absolutely no nudity was involved in that love scene. It is an awkward (=real), funny one. They spent some time untying a Converse shoe in it.

    • Slowsnow says:

      It’s a loooong and funny/moving scene of two women hooking up. If there were other films with heterosexual hooking-up unedited in the same flight then it is pure homophobia. However there is no explicit sex other than kissing. I don’t really see why it would have been edited out in the first place.

  3. Rocky says:

    I watched it on United just yesterday and the scene was not edited out.

  4. A says:

    I just watched it on Delta and at least part of it was definitely in there. I don’t know if it went further in an unedited version but there was a lesbian kiss. Maybe because it was on a European flight?

  5. Jace says:

    I loved this movie.. but I tried watching it with my sister and realized they said the work F&ck probably 50-100 times in the movie. Fine normally but overkill. Could have been a reason Delta picked the edited version. Why they’d cut the kissing scene out though.. 🤷‍♂️ still loved the movie though. Great coming of age film.