Air New Zealand is well-known for finding innovative ways to get its passengers to pay attention to flight safety presentations — the ones that most people begin fitting their earbuds in for or turning their eyes to a book. But to the relief of some, it’s removing one of its popular videos from the rotation.
The safety video was released in February in conjunction with Sports Illustrated’s 50th anniversary, showing bikini-clad women performing the seat belt demonstration, how to inflate the life vests and all the other things usually left to fully clothed flight attendants.
The video that demonstrated “the beauty of safety” featured Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition veterans like Christie Brinkley, Jessica Gomes, Chrissy Teigen, Hannah Davis and Ariel Meredith.
Watch the presentation:
But not everyone appreciated being met with scantily dressed women talking about the serious topic of flight safety.
“Air NZ finds it appropriate to reinvent the in-flight safety video with a celebration of Sports Illustrated 50th anniversary. A safety video is to alert passengers on what to do in an emergency; it should not be an excuse to objectify the sexualized female body,” a petition against the video, which recently surpassed 11,000 signatures, said.
“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. This video is culturally insensitive; it disregards those who are conservative by nature and are uncomfortable with its imagery and disregards passengers who have been exposed to sexual assault. This video creates an unnecessarily difficult and uncomfortable working environment for its female staff, which goes against the entire nature of safety.”
“This video forces itself upon the passengers; it is played in the small confines of an aircraft there is no option to turn off the video. This video offends those who value the right to choose. Air NZ appears determined to insist that skies are sexy regardless of who they offend,” the petition continued.
An Air New Zealand representative told Buzzfeed it isn’t removing the video from its rotation of safety videos in response to the petition but had always intended to phase it out.