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Olivia Wilde and ‘Booksmart’ Cast Shocked Airline Edited Out Lesbian Sex Scene

"I don't even know what to say to that," Dever told Variety at the Governor Awards about the censorship. "I'm shocked. That makes me so mad."




Update (October 29, 8:20am ET): Annapurna has issued the following statement via Sue Naegle, Chief Content Officer of Annapurna Pictures. “We are deeply disappointed by the decision of Etihad Airways and others to remove a scene from ‘Booksmart’ that features two female characters kissing. We are proud of the original cut and want to reaffirm our support for inclusive storytelling.”

Earlier: Olivia Wilde and “Booksmart” actresses Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein reacted in shock on the red carpet of the Academy’s Governors Awards when asked about an airline recently censoring their film’s lesbian sex scene. A Twitter user notified Wilde over the weekend that an unspecified airline had removed the “Booksmart” lesbian sex scene from the film. The scene in question finds the characters played by Dever and Diana Silvers making out in a bathroom during a party and proceeding to have sex until Dever’s Amy throws up.

“This is truly a bummer,” Wilde wrote on Twitter in her initial reaction to the news. “There is no nudity in this scene. What makes it too obscene for airplane viewing? What airline?”

While the name of the airline was not given, replies from other Twitter users claimed the “Booksmart” sex scene had been trimmed on versions of the film streaming on Etihad Airways, Emirates, and Delta. Wilde addresses the matter again at the Governors Awards in a video interview with Variety.

“I don’t understand it,” Wilde said. “There’s censorship airline to airline of films. There must be some kind of governing board to determine. We rated a certain way. 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.”

Feldstein added, “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.”

Dever had not yet heard about the edited scene when asked to comment by Variety. Upon hearing the news, the actress appeared in disbelief. “It’s ridiculous,” she said. “I don’t even know what to say to that. I’m shocked. That makes me so mad.”

IndieWire has reached out to “Booksmart” distributor Annapurna for further comment.

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