Leisha Hailey of 'The L Word' kicked off plane for kissing girlfriend
Leisha Hailey, who played Alice Pieszecki on Showtime's "The L Word," was booted off a Southwest Airlines flight for kissing her girlfriend, the actress said on Twitter
"I have been discriminated against by @SouthwestAir. Flt. attendant said that it was a "family" airline and kissing was not ok," Hailey wrote on Twitter on Monday.
According to Hailey's Twitter feed, she and her Uh Huh Her band mate Camila Grey were in El Paso, Texas visiting Grey's parents.
A Southwest Airlines crew member claimed that passengers had complained about the couple's "excessive" display of affection and escorted the them off the plane when the argument escalated.
"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, Hailey continued, adding, "We were escorted off the plane for getting upset about the issue. @SouthwestAir endorses homophobic employees. No one made her accountable."
The actress also mentioned that she had recorded the stewardess' actions on audio and video and asked her fans to boycott the airline.
"I know plenty of wonderful same sex families I would like to introduce them to. Boycott @SouthwestAir if you are gay. They don't like us," Hailey added. "Since when is showing affection towards someone you love illegal? I want to know what Southwest Airlines considers as 'family.'"
Southwest Airlines issued a statement on their website which claimed the behavior was "excessive" and not based on gender.
"Initial reports indicate that we received several passenger complaints characterizing the behavior as excessive," Southwest wrote in a statement on Monday. "Our crew, responsible for the comfort of all Customers on board, approached the passengers based solely on behavior and not gender. 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."
"@SouthwestAir I didn't realize a small peck on the lips is regarded as excessive and never once did your stewardess mention other passengers," Hailey responded to the statement on her band Uh Huh Her's official Twitter page.
The 40-year-old actress is best known for her role as Alice Pieszecki on "The L Word." She has also appeared in films like "La cucina," "Some Girl" and "Fertile Ground."
She has also performed as a musician in the pop duo The Murmurs and the indie Electropop band Uh Huh Her.
"So we've joined the ranks alongside @BJAofficial and @ThatKevinSmith for being kicked off an @SouthwestAir flight, this time for being gay," she wrote on the band's Twitter feed referring to Southwest's prior offences. "We didn't know intolerance and discrimination for slouchy pants, being overweight or being gay was part of your family values."
Earlier in the month, Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong was kicked off a Southwest flight because his "pants sagged too low." Armstrong took to Twitter to voice his displeasure at the time.
They also booted "Mallrats" director Kevin Smith from an Oakland to Burbank flight in February 2010 because of his weight, saying he didn't fit properly into a single seat. Smith blasted the airline on Twitter and in a podcast for the incident.
On Southwest's official website, the airline claims to take pride in their "outreach and commitment to the GLBT community." The company is also the official airline of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA), and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).