Same-sex love scenes, word 'lesbian' to be returned to Delta in-flight films
© Greg Nash

Delta Airlines will begin showing versions of the films “Booksmart” and “Rocketman” that include the movies’ same-sex love scenes and other LGBTQ references, the airline confirmed to The Hill Saturday.

Delta previously came under fire for airing an edited version of the 2019 film “Booksmart” that did not include a love scene between two women. Dialogue about a sex act between two women, as well as the words “vagina," “genitals" and "lesbian" were also removed from the in-flight version of the film.

Delta also faced criticism over its edited version of the 2019 Elton John biopic “Rocketman" in which a scene depicting physical abuse remained in the film, but a scene in which two men kiss was removed, according to the Washington Post. The edited version of the film also reportedly excluded any reference to the singer’s sexual orientation.

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The airline explained in a statement to The Hill that movies are edited by studios or third party vendors, and that Delta did not ask for any specific edits to either film.

"Studios often provide videos in two forms: a theatrical, original version and an edited version," the statement reads. "We selected the edited version and now realize content well within our guidelines was unnecessarily excluded from both films. We are working to make sure this doesn’t happen again."

"The studio has agreed to provide a special Delta edit that retains the LGBTQ+ love scenes in both "Booksmart" and "Rocketman" that will be on our flights as soon as possible," it continues. "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."

Delta also confirmed that it is immediately implementing a new process for managing the entertainment content available on flights. 

“Booksmart” director Olivia Wilde earlier this week panned the original changes in a now-viral Twitter thread, tweeting “What message is this sending to viewers and especially to women? That their bodies are obscene? That their sexuality is shameful?”