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Delta backs down from supposedly accidental edits that removed sex scene from Booksmart

Photo: Booksmart (Anapurna)

Lately, airline company Delta has been facing a wave of public criticism for streaming strangely edited in-flight movie versions of Booksmart and Rocketman that skipped over same-sex kisses and sex scenes while leaving in heterosexual sex scenes, violence, and adult language. The Washington Post says Delta’s version of Booksmart even cut out “the words ‘vagina’ and ‘genitals,’” as well as conversations about a “lesbian sex act” and a urinary tract infection. Meanwhile, in Rocketman, Delta’s version reportedly included the scene where John Reid physically attacks Taron Egerton’s Elton Job but cut out the parts where the two of them have sex, all of which seemed to imply a double-standard about what is and is not okay for an in-flight movie.

Now, though, Delta has announced that it’s going to restore the edits made to those movies, with the company telling Variety that it is “immediately putting a new process in place for managing content available through Delta’s in-flight entertainment” and will be working with the studio to “provide a special Delta edit that retains the LBGTQ+ love scenes in both Booksmart and Rocketman.” The airline also shifts the blame to the movie studios that provide movies like this, saying they are often given a theatrical version and and an edited version, and it wasn’t until now that it realized the edited versions of these movies “unnecessarily excluded” content that was “well within our guidelines.”

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In its statement, Delta also noted that it allows passengers to watch stuff like Gentleman Jack, Imagine Me And You, Moonlight, and “countless content in the past” that has not been edited like this, but it is important to point out that this is not the first time Delta has been accused of purposefully editing out LGBTQ content. As the aforementioned Washington Post story points out, scenes from Carol were cut out a few years ago, as was a kiss scene in Bad Moms with Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn (but not a “woman-on-man hookup”).

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