Delta Air Lines has issued a formal apology after receiving backlash over allegations that it removed same-sex love scenes from its in-flight movies.
The company's reaction comes after viewers complained that LGBTQ-centric sex scenes in the movies "Booksmart" and "Rocketman" had been edited out of the films' on-board versions. Delta said the issue was likely tied to a third-party editing service, insisting it did not mean to censor any "homosexual content."
"We value our inflight entertainment options as a means to reflect the diversity of the world," the company said in a statement Thursday. “We are reviewing the processes of our third-party editing vendors to ensure that they are aligned with our values of diversity and inclusion."
Delta added that the movies would both be restored to their unedited versions — a decision that came just one day after "Booksmart" director Olivia Wilde took to Twitter to criticize the company.
"What message is this sending to viewers and especially to women? That their bodies are obscene? That their sexuality is shameful?" Wilde tweeted last week.
What message is this sending to viewers and especially to women? That their bodies are obscene? That their sexuality is shameful?
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) October 30, 2019
Wilde encouraged all airlines to cease doing business with the third-party editing company, adding a same-sex hookup scene had been cut from "Booksmart" despite the fact that it did not feature any nudity. She also noted that the edits did not remove certain explicit words, but did censor out the word "vagina."
"We are immediately putting a new process in place for managing content available through Delta’s in-flight entertainment,” Delta also said in its statement. "We selected the edited version and now realize content well within our guidelines was unnecessarily excluded from both films. We are working to make sure this doesn’t happen again."
The airline also pointed to other films available on its flights that feature same-sex romance, noting that the presence of movies such as "Moonlight" is evidence that it is "not our practice to omit LGBTQ+ love scenes."
Wilde, for her part, gave Delta a simple thank you after the change was announced.