Have you ever watched a film airborne on the tiny screen attached to the passenger seats? Chances are the film you saw was edited for content.
But in-flight entertainment is not subject to the same federal broadcasting regulations as movies that are currently in theaters. More often than not, airlines provide certain guidelines to editing studios on what is appropriate in-flight content.
Recently, Delta came under fire for cutting kissing scenes between a lesbian couple from the film “Carol.” The backlash from the LGBTQ community highlighted the arbitrary nature of in-flight entertainment censorship. While R-rated violence is often displayed in the semi-public cabins, same-sex affection, plane crash scenes, and even certain food products could be eliminated due to regional and cultural norms. For frequent flyers wishing for more control over their in-flight experience, bringing their own tablets or computers might be a solution.
Does this trend make built-in screens completely obsolete, thus rendering airline censorship irrelevant? What’s your experience with in-flight systems?
Host Larry Mantle sits down with Brian Sumers, airline reporter for SKIFT, and Charisse L’Pree, professor in media communications, to talk about the politics and economics of in-flight entertainment.