Olivia Wilde Slams Airline for Editing Lesbian Kiss Out of Booksmart: 'My Heart Just Broke'
On Sunday, the actress, who had her directorial debut with the popular coming-of-age comedy, was made aware of the censorship by a fan who spoke out about the editing on Twitter, saying that the “hookup scene” between actresses Kaitlyn Dever and Diana Silvers was omitted from the movie.
While that specific romantic moment was said to be edited out, similar intimate scenes between male and female characters remained in the film.
“Tried watching Booksmart on the plane and they cut the ENTIRE lesbian hookup scene like not even a KISS was allowed!” the fan wrote, adding, “oh but don’t worry guys, the Straights got their kiss.”
Wilde, 35, responded to the user, calling the censorship “a bummer.” She then questioned what could possibly make it “too obscene for airplane viewing” as there was “no nudity.”
Later that night, the Cowboys & Aliens star further addressed the censorship while speaking to Variety at the 11th Annual Governors Awards in Los Angeles.
“I don’t understand it,” Wilde told Variety 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.”
The actress and filmmaker added, “There’s insane violence of bodies being smashed in half and yet a love scene between two women is censored from the film. 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.”
Dever was similarly frustrated over the censorship, telling the outlet that the news of her scene being omitted left her speechless.
“It’s ridiculous,” Dever said. “I don’t even know what to say to that. That makes me so mad.”
On Monday, the fan who had originally shared the news confirmed that she was flying with Etihad Airlines, and also noted that others have come forward over similar censorship on Delta and Emirates flights as well.
Etihad did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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In a statement to PEOPLEa spokesperson for Delta explained that the airline hires a third-party editing company to provide its own edit of the movie along with the unedited version. If anything in the unedited version does not meet Delta’s guidelines, then Delta runs the third party’s edit regardless of whether parts of the film that don’t violate Delta’s guidelines have already been edited out.
“Delta’s content parameters do not in any way ask for the removal of homosexual content from the film,” the airline statement read. “We value diversity and inclusion as core to our culture and our mission and will review our processes to ensure edited video content doesn’t conflict with these values.”
A spokesperson for Emirates told PEOPLE that they were looking into the censorship and would provide an update upon further review.