Southwest Airlines is again at the center of controversy, after actress Leisha Hailey was booted off her flight for kissing her girlfriend. She’s saying she was discriminated against, the airline claims the kissing was “excessive.”
Leisha, star of “The L-Word,” boarded the plane with her girlfriend, but was then publicly shamed when a flight attendant asked them to leave because this was a “family airline.”
An argument ensued and resulted in the two catching another flight.
That is to say, Leisha argues, she was told she was being escorted off the plane because she was gay and, most importantly, because she’d shown the other passengers that she was.
“I have been discriminated against
by @SouthwestAir. Flt. attendant said that it was a ‘family’ airline and kissing was not ok. This is an outrage. I demand a public apology by @SouthwestAir and a refund. Hate is not a family value. I will never fly this airline,” the actress wrote on her Twitter
shortly after the incident.
“We were escorted off the plane for getting upset about the issue. @SouthwestAir endorses homophobic employees. No one made her accountable,” the star tweeted.
Leisha goes on to say that she knows many same-gender families who are just as wonderful as traditional ones. Then, she asks, why was she not allowed to show affection to someone she loves.
Also on Twitter, she threatens the company with the release of footage of the incident.
“Did I mention to @SouthwestAir that I have a lot of their actions recorded on audio and video? RT #boycottSouthwest #discrimination” Hailey writes.
Southwest has released a statement addressing the controversy saying that they do not hire homophobic employees, nor do they encourage homophobic behavior in anyone.
However, their kissing was “excessive” and Southwest clearly doesn’t have any intention of apologizing.
“Initial reports indicate that we received several passenger complaints characterizing the behavior as excessive. Our crew, responsible for the comfort of all Customers on board, approached the passengers based solely on behavior and not gender,” the statement reads.
“The conversation escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground, as opposed to in flight. We regret any circumstance where a passenger does not have a positive experience on Southwest and we are ready to work directly with the passengers involved to offer our heartfelt apologies for falling short of their expectations,” the company adds.