Complaints from LGBT activists have prompted Air New Zealand to remove a scene from an in-flight safety video in which a rugby player refuses to kiss a gay flight attendant.
According to Gay NZ.com, a university professor also complained that the scene in the “Crazy About Rugby” video featuring All Black player Richard Kahui could lead to gay suicides. But the airline said the video received no negative feedback in test screenings that included gay viewers.
“Air New Zealand says the video has been viewed by more than two million people on aircraft, online and via the media,” reports GayNZ.com. “It says it has received huge volumes of positive feedback, including regular applause from customers on aircraft.”
The company said that with only seven weeks left to run for the video, it decided to swap out the scene rather than pursue detailed polling on the complaints.
Will Coxhead, the flight attendant featured in the video, said he was shocked about the complaints.
"I'm absolutely gutted that a couple of people in the gay community have ruined this for everyone else,” he said, according to Gay NZ.com. “I'm proud to be gay, proud to be an Air New Zealander and extremely proud of my role in the safety video. Obviously there are some people in the gay community that can be a little precious and need to lighten up. If anything this particular scene shows a bit of light hearted humour about the situation.”
Watch the safety video. The scene in question begins around the 2:40 mark.