British Airways Edits Virgin Atlantic Logo And CEO Out of Casino Royale

British Airways will show Casino Royale on their airplanes, but not if Richard Branson is in it. According to the BBC, they’ve cut him out of the movie. From the BBC:

Sir Richard was seen briefly in the original film, passing through an airport security scanner, but can only be seen from behind in the new edit.

“Many films are edited in some way on board,” said a BA spokesman.

Branson was given a cameo in the movie because he donated a plane for use in the film. BA, in their attempt to convince passengers that they are, in fact, the only airline currently in existence, also covered up a Virgin Atlantic tail fin.

BA’s entertainment team vets films and television shows for flights on grounds of taste and suitability.

“We do reserve the right to edit films, and many films are edited in some way on board,” said a spokesman.

We agree that product placement can be in poor taste, but really… is poor taste limited to your competitors, BA? —MEGHANN MARCO

BA cuts Branson from Bond movie [BBC]

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  1. pr1mu5 says:

    I recall this happening on a showing of “Happy Gilmore” on I believe it was FOX or TBS on TV. Happy deliberately starts marketing for Subway sandwiches, wearing shirts with their logo, etc, and I remember seeing the shirt logos (and Subway cups, etc) being blurred out or masked over on the TV.

    Strange.

  2. Skeptic says:

    One would think that this editing would violate the terms of the product placement contract…

  3. categorically says:

    Given this history of Virgin Atlantic and British Airways, this is to be expected. I remember flying on VA when they had their No-Way BA/AA words on the side years ago when they were trying to derail that merger.

    No love loss here between these two.

  4. Kenton Davis says:

    Not very surprising. Continental Airline edits out not only swears but also any reference or mention of “God” or other mainstream religious diety. It’s weird to be wathing the movie and, in a moment of surprise, an actor proclaims “oh my, [silence}.”

  5. conedude13 says:

    It’s like ad-block plus for movies! Crazyness! :P

  6. NekoFever says:

    So is BA going to start covering the windows during taxi, takeoff, and landing? I swear I saw a Virgin plane outside when I flew with them.

    Although I profoundly disagree with the reasoning behind this move and the concept of editing movies for content at all, I can understand the reasoning behind covering up the Virgin tail fin. It’d be a bit like my Mac replacing Windows desktops with OS X when I watch a DVD on it (maybe that’s why there was that time on 24 when all the good guys had Macs and the bad guys had PCs…), but whatever. Cutting out the Virgin owner is just a bit silly really. I don’t know anyone who saw him without having it pointed out to them, and I only spotted him because I was told to watch for him in that scene.

  7. SowndOfDeth says:

    I had forgotten that Branson was in the movie and that there was a VA plane in it, too. :)

  8. Falconfire says:

    Branson was also secretly behind the investigations into BA illegal pricing investigation if Im not mistaken.

    Yeah no love lost between those two.

  9. oldhat says:

    As usual, this is terribly short-sighted. Most would not even notice anyway. This is too 1984-ish. People are crazy…revisionism is wrong be it the holocaust, Jesus, or this…let the truth out and deal with it.

  10. shdwsclan says:

    Doesnt copyright law prevent of such editing of films since it is misrepresentation, unless they have somesort of public display liscense.

  11. faust1200 says:

    While I think BA is being totally lame in taking out this scene I think will help the movie. I remember seeing Branson and all the Virgin mumbo jumbo in the film. It really takes you out of the moment when all you can hear in your head is “cha-ching.”

  12. MTV, VH1, and BET all do this too. They will mute out any reference to the other music channels when they air music videos (examples: Money for Nothing and Overnight Celebrity) even though they are all owned by the same people.

    Not that 2/3 actually air videos during the day anymore but still.

  13. infinitysnake says:

    A more famous example of this stuff was the sequence from rain man where the safety records of various airlines was repeated. Iirc, Qantas at the time had a perfect record and was the only airline not to censor the film.

  14. Dr. Eirik says:

    It makes me wonder if BA did the same thing with “Superman Returns”, where Branson had a very small cameo as the space shuttle commander. It flashed by so fast that most people missed it (I only caught it because I was forewarned).

  15. Falconfire says:

    They did censor Superman Returns.

  16. The Bigger Unit says:

    Ahhh, airlines. Will you ever stop providing entertaining fodder for consumerist.com?

  17. Bradley says:

    I love it! I want to know who made the decision that spending their man-hours on editing this film would result in increased profits and a better overall company image.

  18. Stepehn Colbert says:

    Tell’em You’re not getting Casino Royale. Go drink your fuckin tea!

  19. Bourque77 says:

    They could just start showing films that have no refrences to other airline to begin with. Me personally I’d rather watch recent good movies, edited or not. They are providing a free service that they dont have to provide so if they want to take out a competitors logo thats their right. I mean come on do we not have anything better to complain about airlines other than editing i movie? Hell if that was their only problem I’d be tickled pink to deal with edited movies.

  20. @Bourque77: They’re not providing free anything. The cost of in-flight entertainment, from deploying viewing hardware to licensing content, is shouldered by the customer somewhere in the price of the fare. I don’t think anyone is arguing against BA’s right to do this. The point is that it’s silly and petty and makes them look like asses.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I can understand that they don’t want to push Virgin on their inflight movies…

    …but this article has proved that I’m not crazy. I know I saw him at the airport. I told a couple friends of mine that I noticed Richard Branson and they didn’t believe me.

  22. lostboytexas says:

    FYI. I just flew AA and they cut almost an hour from Casino Royale. I kid you not, it was half the film! That whole part where Bond gets poisoned? Gone!

  23. thewaz says:

    If i had taken a movie and edited it and showed it to freind it would have been called “copyright infringement”.