US & Canada

Delta Air Lines restores same-sex love scenes to in-flight films

Booksmart director Olivia Wilde standing in front of posters for the film Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Booksmart director Olivia Wilde said the censoring was "insane"

Delta Air Lines is to show new versions of the films Booksmart and Rocketman after the carrier was criticised for screening versions with same-sex love scenes edited out.

Delta said the content had been "unnecessarily excluded".

The words "vagina" and "lesbian" were also cut out, despite profanities being kept in.

Delta said the films were edited by a third party and they did not ask for edits to be made.

"We are working to make sure this doesn't happen again," the airline said.

In the biopic Rocketman, a sex scene and a kissing scene between two men were both taken out.

The film has been banned in Samoa and in Russia gay sex scenes were edited out.

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Media captionRocketman is a musical film about Sir Elton John's career and how he broke into the industry

The coming-of-age comedy Booksmart had a lesbian kissing scene removed.

The editor Olivia Wilde watched the film on a Delta flight and said that while all swearing was kept in, any mentions of the words "vagina" and "genitals" were edited out.

"What message is this sending to viewers and especially to women?" she said on Twitter. "That their bodies are obscene? That their sexuality is shameful?"

While it is common practice for in-flight films to be edited, Delta said this content was well within their guidelines.

"Currently, we have Gentleman Jack, Imagine Me and You, and Moonlight onboard and countless content in the past that clearly shows it is not our practice to omit LGBTQ+ love scenes," the carrier said in a statement.

Ms Wilde said she urges "every airline, especially those who pride themselves on inclusivity, to stop working with this third party company, and trust the parental advisory warning to allow viewers to opt out if they choose".

Image copyright Paramount Pictures
Image caption Taron Egerton (L) in Rocketman as Elton John

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