Why was Hairspray missing a kiss between Edna and Wilbur?

Over at the Broadway discussion board All that Chat, posters have noticed a discrepancy between the Hairspray movie and the musical it was based upon. On the stage, “You’re Timeless to Me” — a number between Edna Turnblad (John Travolta) and her husband Wilbur (Christopher Walken) — ends with the couple sharing a sweet kiss. The movie, however, shows Wilbur turning out the lights at the end of the song, leaving the kiss implied on a dark screen.

Michael Musto makes a similar observation about the film, noting that, “though the black guy kisses the white girl and the skinny guy kisses the fat girl, the husband never plants one on the drag girl!”

Were the producers of Hairspray worried that audiences wouldn’t accept a kiss between two male actors, even when they’re playing an opposite-sex couple? Did this come down to Travolta or Walken feeling uncomfortable with the kiss?

Interestingly, two of Hairspray producers made news in 2003 when, in accepting a songwriting award for Hairspray, shared a kiss on a live broadcast of the Tony Awards with a public declaration of lifelong love.

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