September 27, 2011

IconAirline boots ‘L Word’ star after lesbian kiss

Actress and musician Leisha Hailey is calling for a boycott of US company Southwest Air. She was unceremoniously ejected from a flight after sharing a kiss with her girlfriend.

Hailey, who played Alice Pieszecki in The L Word and is now a member of the electro-pop band Uh Huh Her, was told that her display of affection was unacceptable on the ‘family’ airline. When she protested at her treatment she was escorted from the plane.

She soon took her grievances to Twitter to suggest a boycott and demand an apology.

“SouthwestAir endorses homophobic employees,” Hailey fumed. “Since when is showing affection towards someone you love illegal? I want to know what Southwest Airlines considers a ‘family.’”

“Boycott SouthwestAir if you are gay. They don’t like us,” she added.

A statement from the airline argued that their response was not motivated by homophobia. “Our crew, responsible for the comfort of all customers on board, approached the passengers based solely on behavior and not gender,” read the statement.

“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 expectation.”

Hailey is not the first celebrity to have been ejected from a Southwest flight in recent times. Green Day frontman Billy Joe Armstrong was removed from a plane earlier this month after wearing low-slung trousers. In 2010, filmmaker Kevin Smith was told that he was “too obese” to fly.

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Ruth Pearce

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