Booksmart’s Lesbian Sex Scene Has Been Cut By Airlines - And The Cast Aren’t Happy

Booksmart's lesbian sex scene is reportedly cut by multiples airlines; the film's director and stars address the decision, and they aren’t happy.

Multiples airlines have reportedly cut Booksmart's lesbian sex scene. Directed by Olivia Wilde, the coming-of-age comedy primarily focuses on the romantic hopes and fears of young female characters. Booksmart's leads recently addressed the airline edit, and they aren’t happy.

Booksmart stars Kaitlyn Dever (Unbelievable) and Beanie Feldstein as best friends Amy Antsler and Molly Davidson, respectively. As the two contemplate life beyond high school, Molly pushes Amy - an open lesbian - to pursue her crush, Ryan (Victoria Ruesga). As the film plays out in Los Angeles, the girls prep for a big party and attempt to better understand their wants and needs as young women. A climactic moment in Booksmart features a bathroom sex sequence involving Amy and another female character, which ends with one of the girls vomiting. Booksmart marks Wilde’s feature directorial debut and includes Jessica Williams, Billie Lourd, and Diana Silvers in supporting roles. 

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Booksmart’s director and stars addressed the airline controversy while attending the Academy’s Governors Awards. Wilde had previously learned about the film’s airline edit from a Twitter user, and described the news as “a bummer.” While speaking with Variety, Wilde noted the lack of nudity, and doesn't quite understand why the sex scene was deemed “too obscene” for airline viewers. Various Twitter users have reportedly identified the airlines in question as Etihad Airways, Emirates, and Delta. Booksmart's Dever acknowledged her displeasure in an interview with Variety, stating “I don’t even know what to say to that. I’m shocked. That makes me so mad."

Made for only $6 million, Booksmart earned over $24 million in theaters, but has been largely overlooked by the masses. For example, the premise is similar to the 2007 comedy Superbad starring Michael Cera and Jonah Hill, in which two high school friends muse about their sexual desires and attend a big party. Produced by Judd Apatow, Superbad had a $20 million budget and became wildly successful with a $169 million box office take. Hill is the older brother of Booksmart’s Feldstein, who implied that she’s trying to figure out how the Booksmart sex scene was allowed to be cut in the first place: “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.”

When it released, Booksmart received mostly positive reviews, and features a storyline that’s not only relevant to female moviegoers, but one that includes the usual tropes seen in male-dominated comedies. If the lesbian sex scene doesn’t feature any graphic visuals, then perhaps airlines should re-consider the perplexing edit. For now, Wilde and company seem intent on figuring out what happened, and what can be done to present a more authentic version to viewers. After all, the Booksmart sex scene isn't merely a passing moment - it's crucial to Amy's character arc.

More: Why Good Boys Is A Box Office Hit (But Booksmart Struggled)

Source: Variety (1, 2)

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