Don’t Worry Darling‘s first trailer included a steamy scene in which Harry Styles’ character performs oral sex on Florence Pugh’s character. Apparently, there would have been even more provocative scenes included in the trailer if director Olivia Wilde had her way. In a new interview with the Associated Press, Wilde said that the MPA ratings board forced her to remove additional scenes that were deemed too risqué.
“There’s a lot that had to be taken out of the trailer,” Wilde said. “The MPA came down hard on me and the trailer at the last second and I had to cut some shots, which I was upset about because I thought they took it up another notch. But of course, we still live in a really puritanical society.”
She added, “I do think the lack of eroticism in American film is kind of new. Then when it comes to female pleasure, it’s something that we just don’t see very often unless you’re talking about queer cinema. You know, it’s interesting because in a lot of queer films, the female characters are allowed to have more pleasure. Audiences aren’t as puritanical as corporations think they are. And yet people get upset. I mean, people are upset with me already over this. I think it’s a testament to the film. We want to be provocative. The idea is not to make you feel safe.”
Sharing similar thoughts in her Variety cover story Wilde said, “Female pleasure, the best versions of it that you see nowadays, are in queer films. Why are we more comfortable with female pleasure when it’s two women on film? In hetero sex scenes in film, the focus on men as the recipients of pleasure is almost ubiquitous.”
Don’t Worry Darling star Pugh has expressed frustration over the reception to the movie’s trailer, due to the oral sex scene dominating the buzz over the psychological thriller. Pugh criticized viewers for reducing the entire film to one sex scene in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, telling the publication, “When it’s reduced to your sex scenes, or to watch the most famous man in the world go down on someone, it’s not why we do it. It’s not why I’m in this industry. Obviously, the nature of hiring the most famous pop star in the world, you’re going to have conversations like that. That’s just not what I’m going to be discussing because [this movie is] bigger and better than that. And the people who made it are bigger and better than that.”
Don’t Worry Darling is set to premiere this Labor Day weekend at the Venice Film Festival on September 5, with its theatrical release on September 23.