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Delta Says It's Restoring Same-Sex Love Scenes To "Booksmart" And "Rocketman" On Its Flights

The airline came under criticism after Booksmart director Olivia Wilde tweeted about key LGBTQ scenes that had been cut from the in-flight version of her film.

Posted on November 1, 2019, at 8:11 p.m. ET

Annapurna Pictures, Paramount Pictures

Left: Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever in Booksmart. Right: Taron Egerton and Richard Madden in Rocketman.

Delta Air Lines will restore same-sex love scenes to its in-flight versions of the 2019 movies Booksmart and Rocketman, the company confirmed to BuzzFeed News.

The airline said that it was provided an "edited" version of each film, but only realized this week that those versions omitted key same-sex love scenes involving its lead characters.

“We are working to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Delta said in a statement.

The news broke after Booksmart director Olivia Wilde retweeted a viewer who complained that the hookup scene between one of the film's leads, Kaitlyn Dever, and actor Diana Silvers (Ma) had been cut from the film.

This is truly a bummer. There is no nudity in this scene. What makes it too obscene for airplane viewing? What airline?

Two days later, an Entertainment Weekly editor tweeted that “almost every gay reference” had been cut from Delta's in-flight version of the Elton John biopic Rocketman, including a love scene between stars Taron Egerton and Richard Madden.

On @Delta today discovered that #Rocketman is stripped of almost every gay reference or scene that @eltonofficial fought to keep in the film’s mainstream release, including a simple chaste kiss. This ⬇️ is good context but it’s still frustrating.

Delta says it never intended for these scenes to be cut, and a spokesperson told BuzzFeed News the airline is working directly with the films' respective studios on new edits that will restore the love scenes in question.

Representatives for Annapurna Pictures, which released Booksmart, and Paramount Pictures, which released Rocketman, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

On Wednesday, Wilde tweeted that she had watched the edited version of Booksmart on a flight, and implied that a "third party company" was responsible for the edits to the film.

I finally had the chance to watch an edited version of Booksmart on a flight to see exactly what had been censored. 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? 🤔

The Delta spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that studios hire outside companies to make in-flight versions of its films, but she said she did not know the name of the company that had edited Booksmart or Rocketman.

In the same thread from Wednesday, Wilde also listed several other omissions from the film, including scenes of a woman masturbating, naked plastic dolls (that have no genitals) from a fantasy sequence, and the word "vagina."

The Delta spokesperson said she did not know if the cuts would also be restored in the new edit of the film, but she reiterated that the original edited version of Booksmart did exclude material that was within the airline's guidelines for in-flight movies.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.