Booksmart stars and director are furious about airline edit cutting out lesbian kiss

Olivia Wilde comedy Booksmart had its content censored for an airline edit

Booksmart director Olivia Wilde and stars Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein have reacted with anger after an airline edit gutted the film’s LGBT+ content.

Olivia Wilde’s high school comedy, which features Kaitlyn Dever as lesbian character Amy, saw drastic edits for a version available onboard Etihad Airways, Emirates, and Delta flights, according to ScreenRant.

A lesbian kiss and a sex scene were reportedly gutted from the film, while heterosexual romance was left intact.

Decision to edit out lesbian content is ‘bats**t insane’, says Olivia Wilde

Wilde called out the “bats**t insane” decision on Twitter, writing: “This is truly a bummer. There is no nudity in this scene. What makes it too obscene for airplane viewing?”

Speaking to Variety at the Governors Awards, she said: “I don’t understand it… if it’s not X rated, surely it’s acceptable on an airplane.

“There’s insane violence of bodies being ripped in half and yet a love scene between two women is censored from the film.

“It’s such an integral part of the character’s journey. My heart just broke. I don’t understand it. It’s confusing.”

Booksmart stars says they want decision ‘rectified’

Beanie Feldstein told the outlet at the same event: “We’re on the case to get this rectified. Our movie is a beautiful representation of the queer experience as young people. I’m a queer person.

“So we’re getting to the bottom of it. If you can watch me and Skyler [Gisondo] kiss, you can watch Kaitlyn and Diana kiss.”

Kaitlyn Dever learned about the censorship for the first time during the interview with Variety.

She said: “It’s ridiculous. I don’t even know what to say to that. I’m shocked. That makes me so mad.”

LGBT content is often cut from films for international audiences

It’s far from the first time films with LGBT+ content have been gutted in the editing room to cater for international audiences.

Divisive Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhaposdy saw extensive edits for the film’s release across Asia, with direct references to homosexuality and scenes of cross-dressing largely omitted.

Gay sex scenes were also cut out of Elton John biopic Rocketman in Russia, leading to vocal protests from Sir Elton himself.

The singer fumed: “We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today.

“Paramount Pictures have been brave and bold partners in allowing us to create a film which is a true representation of Elton’s extraordinary life, warts and all.

“That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.”