Booksmart director Olivia Wilde has criticised in detail the edited version of the film available on commercial flights, accusing the “third party company” that created the edit of sending the message that “women’s … bodies are obscene [and] that their sexuality is shameful”.
Wilde was following up posts on social media that complained a key lesbian sex scene had been removed from the film when shown on a number of airlines, including Etihad Airways and Delta. When first notified of the edit, Wilde told Variety: “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.”
On Wednesday, Wilde tweeted that she had watched an in-flight showing of Booksmart, and detailed the major edits she noticed. As well as the “non-nude” sex scene involving actors Kaitlyn Dever and Diana Silvers, these included the removal of the word “vagina”, part of a sequence involving animated dolls, references to the sex act “scissoring”, and the “porn moment” when they accidentally play pornography through the speakers of a Lyft car driven by their school head.
Wilde pointed out that the word “fuck” was not removed at any point, even from the same scenes that “vagina” was taken out of.
Wilde also suggested that the use of a “parental advisory” warning was deceptive, implying that the film shown was the original, unedited version. She added: “I urge 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.”