There’s something of a social media firestorm over the way that the 2015 film Carol is being shown on Delta’s inflight entertainment system.
The critically acclaimed movie is about an affair between a young female photographer and an older woman in the midst of a divorce. It’s set in New York City and stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.
Delta has shown it inflight, but some people are asking,
So if the movie is about lesbians, won awards specifically for its queer elements, and is famous enough to be recognized by a hefty portion of passengers, why did Delta get rid of all the scenes that show the protagonists kissing?
Mediaite complains that “Delta has said nothing publicly about why they would choose to edit two women kissing but not edit more explicit hetero scenes in other films.”
Except: Delta doesn’t do the editing and they have responded to this.
There were two versions of this film that the studio makes available–one that is edited and one that is not edited. The edited version removes two explicit scenes that do not meet our guidelines. The edited version also removes all kissing. The other version is fully non-edited and includes the kissing, but it also includes the explicit scenes. Unfortunately, Delta doesn’t have the rights to edit the movie, or to make the decision to keep some of that content (e.g. kissing).
Now there are sometimes specially-edited versions of films for airlines though that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Talk of air crashes may be edited out for some carriers. Some references to American Airlines were removed from the version of Up in the Air I watched inflight on a different airline several years ago.
This does raise the question about editing of films generally, and what really needs to be removed for general audiences, what sorts of ‘trigger warnings’ (for instance.. ‘motion picture ratings’) are necessary, and whether standards that are being applied are outdated.
To the extent that Delta opts for the ‘edited’ versions of films there’s going to be plenty for a film critic — or passenger critic — to complain about in the edit. Unlike Singapore Airlines, though, Delta flight attendants aren’t scouring the world’s film festivals to personally select what goes in your flight’s entertainment system.