All open indications of homosexuality have been removed from the version of Elton John’s biographical film, Rocketman, available for viewing in flight with Delta Air Lines. This news comes even though the company promised two years ago that movies on board would no longer censor queer content.
The airline was surprised by showing a censored version of the movie by Entertainment Weekly digital director Shana Krochmal, who tweeted: “On Delta today they discovered that Rocketman is stripped of almost all the gay references or scenes that (Elton John) struggled to keep in the premiere of the movie, including a simple chastity kiss. “
Krochmal continued: “What does it say that the edition left in a scene of John Reid attacking Elton, but eliminated any evidence of intimacy between them or, in fact, between Elton and any man?
Other people intervened in the Twitter thread, reporting similar experiences in Delta. One person said he had complained to the airline already on September 13th.
Delta has been criticized for projecting films with queer content removed for several years. The airline received strong criticism for removing LGBTQ + elements from Carol and Bad Moms.
Earlier this week, Olivia Wilde spoke against Delta and other airlines for removing a lesbian kiss from her Booksmart movie, which has been hailed for her innovative portrayal of women’s relationships. The Delta version also eliminates the word “vagina” but keeps the oaths and a male character that mimics a sexual act in a microphone.
“I’m just curious to know what a woman is supposed to take from that. What is an obscenity? What is inappropriate?” Wilde said at a round table. “I could suggest that women, I don’t know, have bodies or may experience pleasure, or deserve it.”
For its part, Delta blamed the cuts on its association with an unnamed third-party company that censures the films for the airlines. According to the airline, the studios offer two versions of each film: one that is intact and one that has been heavily drafted. If there is an item in the movie that violates Delta’s content guidelines, then they run the version that has all the wording.
Because those third companies may consider queer content objectionable, if a movie has any other controversial material, then Delta will execute the version that also has queer content removed.
Although Delta’s contractor has not been identified, companies that provide expulsed versions of the films include Encore Inflight Limited, Global Eagle and Aeroplay Entertainment, based in Hong Kong.
In 2017, a Delta spokesman told The Advocate that the airline has no right to edit movies; Simply project the edited versions offered by the studies.
After being attacked by censored films in 2017, Delta promised that it would no longer display films with censored queer content. “Delta is committed to not showing any movies when an edited version is required, but it goes beyond the omission of explicit material to eliminate scenes that reflect the diversity of our employees and customers,” a spokesman said.
Apparently, that policy was no longer followed when Delta chose to show the non-gay version of Rocketman.