Lesbian actress Leisha Hailey — who starred in “The L Word” — was escorted off of a Southwest Airlines flight on Monday after a flight attendant said passengers complained after witnessing her kissing her girlfriend.
Hailey, 40, tweeted that a flight attendant had told her that Southwest “was a ‘family’ airline and kissing was not ok,” and that she and her companion were then “escorted off the plane for getting upset about the issue.”
“SouthwestAir endorses homophobic employees,” she tweeted.
“Since when is showing affection toward someone you love illegal? I want to know what Southwest Airlines considers a ‘family.'”
She went on to tweet: “Boycott SouthwestAir if you are gay. They don’t like us.”
Hailey, who starred on Showtime network’s “The L Word” as Alice, a bisexual magazine writer and radio host, also demanded a public apology.
In response, Southwest Airlines issued a statement that read, “Our crew, responsible for the comfort of all customers on board, approached the passengers based solely on behavior and not gender.”
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The statement concluded: “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.”
Herndon Graddick, senior director of programs at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Aganist Defamation (GLAAD), said in an email that “GLAAD contacted Southwest to call for additional actions beyond tonight’s statement that ensure all customers feel comfortable and welcomed while traveling.”
Southwest bills itself on its website as the official airline of GLAAD.