Southwest Airlines Denies Incident With 'L Word' Actress Was Discrimination
After further investigation, the company says Leisha Hailey and her partner used profane language leading to their removal from the flight.
After some back and forth between Southwest Airlines and L Word actress Leisha Hailey and her partner, Uh Huh Her band mate Camila Grey, the company has released an updated statement on the incident following an investigation of the claims.
“Additional reports from our employees and customers onboard flight 2274 during a stop in El Paso on Sunday now confirm profane language was being used loudly by two passengers,” the updated statement reads. “At least one family who was offended by the loud profanity moved to another area of the cabin.”
“Although we have reports of what customers characterize as an excessive public display of affection, ultimately their aggressive reaction led to their removal from the aircraft,” the statement continues. “We do not tolerate discrimination against anyone for any reason. In this situation, their removal was directly and solely related to the escalated conversation that developed onboard the aircraft.”
This updated statement and the one released by Hailey and Grey earlier on Tuesday actually agree on the point that the verbal exchange became elevated. The couple admit they became “verbally upset” after they claim the flight attendant told them the company is a “family oriented airline.”
The two statements also seem to agree that the couple was approached initially based on customer complaints stating that the display of affection was “excessive.” And that may be the point of contention for Hailey and Grey who state, “We were not making out or creating any kind of spectacle of ourselves, it was one, modest kiss.” Southwest Airlines did not immediately return a request for clarification.
Nevertheless, the airline goes on to state its “tenets of inclusion and celebration of diversity among our customers and employees, including those in the LGBT communities, anchor our culture of mutual respect and following the Golden Rule.”
The airline says its “Customer Advocacy Team reached out to extend goodwill and a full refund for an experience that fell short of the passengers' expectation.”
Hailey and Grey say they are filing a formal complaint with the airline in the hope that “when all is said and done a greater tolerance without prejudice will evolve.”