Air New Zealand yanked a safety video featuring Sports Illustrated swimsuit models after public outrage online.
The video, called “Safety in Paradise,’’ featured bikini-clad women conveying flight safety instructions on a beach while drinking, swimming, and flipping their hair provocatively. At one point the ladies used a handheld mirror to admire themselves in oxygen masks. Famous swimsuit models in the video included Christie Brinkley, Chrissy Teigen, and Hannah Davis. The video was released in February.
An Australian woman named Natasha Young called the video “sexist’’ and began a petition on change.org. In it, she wrote:
A safety video is to alert passengers on what to do in an emergency; it should not be an excuse to objectify the sexualised female body. This video completely disregards passengers who find it offensive for religious reasons, who have body image struggles, who are parents concerned about their children’s impressionable nature, who believe women deserve more respect, and who have teenage daughters who deserve more respect.
Young’s petition received more than 11,000 signatures. Folks on Twitter showed their dismay as well, using the hashtag #AirNZsexism.
#AirNZsexism Idiots.It's this kind of thinking that's wrong with world today.— Thayne Madrid (@ThayneMadrid) July 7, 2014
Air New Zealand told The New Zealand Herald the video was not removed because of public pressure, that it was simply phased out. The video was replaced with a previously recorded “Bear Essentials of Safety’’ video featuring Edward Michael “Bear’’ Grylls, a British adventurer.
But Young is convinced her petition was a factor.
“We did it!’’ wrote Young on the petition after the video was pulled. “I’m so glad to learn I wasn’t alone, and that thousands of people were with me on this. Hopefully, Air New Zealand will think twice before they objectify women and use sexism as a bad joke again.’’
Not everyone was offended by the video, as evidenced by this tweet.
Is it really #airnzsexism I bet more people are paying attention to the message. Some people need to lighten up. They are hardly exploited— Hayden Searle (@xspader) July 4, 2014
What do you think? Should the video have been pulled?