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Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:24 AM

A same-sex love scene was cut from a movie on Delta flights. So was the word 'lesbian.' [View all]

Morning Mix
A same-sex love scene was cut from a movie on Delta flights. So was the word ‘lesbian.’

By Teo Armus
Oct. 31, 2019 at 7:04 a.m. EDT

Editor’s note: This story contains spoilers for “Booksmart” and “Rocketman.”

Near the end of the 2019 film “Booksmart,” a tense bathroom kiss between Amy, the film’s timid, justice-minded lead, and Hope, her high school’s “basic hot girl,” turns into more: Hidden from a house party outside, they engage in a hookup that’s been hailed as an unusually frank, on-screen portrayal of sex between two women.

But watch “Booksmart” on a Delta Air Lines flight, and the R-rated high school comedy will skip right through that scene. Reportedly, the in-flight cut also passes over the words “vagina” and “genitals,” an exchange about a lesbian sex act, talk of a urinary tract infection, and a bit in which Amy and her friend watch porn in the back of a ride-share.

Amid calls of censorship, those edits — made by an outside company that works with the airline — are drawing the ire and confusion of passengers and Hollywood insiders alike, in what’s at least the fourth instance when same-sex romance has been stripped from an in-flight Delta movie in recent years.

“If it’s not X-rated, surely it’s acceptable on an airplane,” director Olivia Wilde said at an awards show on Sunday night. “There’s insane violence of bodies being smashed in half [in other movies], 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."

In a statement to The Washington Post early Thursday, Delta said its “content parameters do not in any way ask for the removal of homosexual content from the film.”

But it’s not the first time the airline has come under fire for the situation — or, for that matter, even the only time this week. On Tuesday, other Delta passengers protested that the in-flight cut of “Rocketman,” the Elton John biopic released this year, was missing sex scenes and even a chaste kiss between two men.

Teo Armus is a reporter for The Washington Post's Morning Mix team. He was previously a reporter at the Charlotte Observer, where he covered race, immigration and identity issues. Follow https://twitter.com/teoarmus

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Reply A same-sex love scene was cut from a movie on Delta flights. So was the word 'lesbian.' [View all]
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