Olivia Wilde Criticizes Censorship of 'Booksmart' Lesbian Sex Scenes on Airlines

A version of the coming-of-age comedy that is being shown on Delta doesn't include a hookup scene between two teenage girls and eliminates references to female sexuality.

Olivia Wilde on Wednesday dove into the details of how her R-rated comedy Booksmart has been censored for viewing on some flights, criticizing Delta Airlines for playing a sanitized version of the film that eliminates a lesbian sex scene and references to female sexuality.

"I finally had the chance to watch an edited version of Booksmart on a flight to see exactly what had been censored," the actress and helmer tweeted after seeing a version of the film that's being shown on Delta. "Turns out some airlines work with a third-party company that edits the movie based on what they deem inappropriate. Which, in our case, is ... female sexuality?"

From Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures, Booksmart is Wilde's directorial debut and chronicles the adventures of two graduating high school girls (Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever) who decide to change their nerdy ways and live it up. At one point, Dever's character, a lesbian, engages in sexual activity with another girl at a party.

Save for a brief shot of the beginnings of a kiss, that scene was edited out of the version that Wilde watched on her flight. Other eliminations that she noted included the words "vagina," "genitals" and part of a stop-motion scene featuring naked dolls when Feldstein and Dever's characters hallucinate after accidentally taking drugs. Meanwhile, curse words were not censored, Wilde said.

"What message is this sending to viewers and especially to women? That their bodies are obscene? That their sexuality is shameful?," Wilde tweeted. "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."

Before the era of individual monitors on planes, it was commonplace for airlines to edit a movie for sexual content, language and intense violence. It happens less now, although R-rated films come under more scrutiny. An airline has the right to show an edited version per its licensing agreement with a studio.

Others showing censored versions of Booksmart include Etihad Airways and Emirates Airlines. Both are both based in the Middle East, where Hollywood movies can face heavy censorship to adhere to stricter cultures.

“We are deeply disappointed by the decision of Etihad Airways and others to remove a scene from Booksmart hat features two female characters kissing,” Annapurna chief content officer Sue Naegle said in a statement. “We are proud of the original cut and want to reaffirm our support for inclusive storytelling.”

Sources say some scenes of heterosexual sex were also cut in the version playing on Delta.

Delta didn't immediately respond to a request for a comment.