Booksmart director Olivia Wilde has expressed her sheer disappointment and utter shock at a commercial airline’s decision to take out the film’s lesbian sex scene between Kaitlyn Dever and Diana Silvers’ characters. (For those who have seen the film, the scene in question takes place inside a bathroom at a party.)
“I don’t understand it,” Wilde told Variety’s Marc Malkin on the red carpet at the Academy’s Governors Awards on Sunday night. “There’s censorship, airline to airline, of films, which there must be some kind of governing board to determine. We rate it a certain way. If it’s not X-rated, surely it’s acceptable on an airplane.”
“There’s insane violence of bodies being smashed in half and yet a love scene between two women is censored from the film,” she continued. “It’s such an integral part of this character’s journey. I don’t understand it. My heart just broke. I’m trying to get to the bottom of it; I want people to experience the entire film.”
While sexual content is commonly edited out of airline versions of movies, it has been reported the initial kiss between Dever and Silvers’ characters has also been removed – but the heterosexual kisses in the script have not. “We’re on the case to get this rectified,” said star Beanie Feldstein. “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, don’t worry. If you can watch me and Skyler [Gisondo] kiss, you can watch Diana and Kaitlyn kiss.”
It has also been revealed that Delta Airlines will remove the word “lesbian” from the film. To be honest, I am even more disgusted at this decision, one that Wilde labelled “batsh*t insane” on Twitter.
Censoring the word lesbian is just batshit insane what is going on 😳 https://t.co/Rdq2wh68QO
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) October 28, 2019
I spent a little bit of time with Wilde in June at the Max Mara X InStyle Women In Film Awards in Hollywood. She and I spoke at length at the importance of this film shifting the teenage rom-com narrative and she was absolutely beaming with pride for it to release in Australia the following month. “You must promote this film,” she said holding my hand. “It’s very, very important.”