There's a Reason People Were Mad at Delta for Showing 'Carol' Without the Kissing Scenes

August 4th 2016

Tricia Tongco

This week, comedian Cameron Esposito tweeted about a bizarre experience she had watching an in-flight version of the Oscar-winning movie “Carol.”

Here's the thing: the two main female characters — played by Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett — do kiss, but their scenes weren't shown in the version of the film Delta showed on the flight. 

As a result of Esposito bringing attention to this issue, Delta has faced backlash for showing the edited version of the film.

However, the airline isn't necessarily to blame. In a statement to ATTN: regarding the incident, Delta said:

"Delta was made aware of the removal of a scene in an onboard movie that shows two women kissing. Delta did not request this edit but uses an edited version of the movie because it removes two scenes that contain nudity. Delta has long been a supporter of the LGBT community."

Phyllis Nagy, the writer who adapted the Patricia Highsmith novel “Carol” for the screen, confirmed that there are two versions of the movie offered to airlines.

However, the incident has dredged up the conversation around the wider problem of discrimination against movies depicting homosexuality.

In general, the MPAA has a history of giving stricter ratings to films portraying sex than those showing violence — especially scenes showing female pleasure or male nudity. The organization, which is in charge of assigning ratings to movies, has also demonstrated a harsher bias against homosexual relations compared to heterosexual relations. For example, the MPAA issued an R-rating for "G.B.F.," a 2013 movie about a girl in high school and her gay best friend.

In a Facebook post about the film's rating, director Darren Stein wrote:

I always thought of G.B.F. as a PG-13 movie, but we were given an R "For Sexual References" while not having a single F-bomb, hint of nudity or violence in the film. Perhaps the ratings box should more accurately read "For Homosexual References" or "Too Many Scenes of Gay Teens Kissing." I look forward to a world where queer teens can express their humor and desire in a sweet, fun teen film that doesn't get tagged with a cautionary R.

[h/t AfterEllen]