New Zealand

Airline Cuts Kissing Scene Amid Concerns Over Homophobia

Due to mounting pressure, Air New Zealand has decided to cut a scene from a lighthearted in-flight safety video wherein a rugby player refuses to kiss a male flight attendant on the cheek. A representative for the airline says that higher-ups discussed the scene before production and after initially finding no problem with the scene, decided to include it in the video. They have only recently started to receive complaints about concerns over homophobia. So far, the video has been seen by about 2 million people since since it was released a few months ago.

One person not offended by the scene is the male flight attendent featured in the video. He said: "I'm absolutely gutted that a couple of people in the gay community have ruined this for everyone else. 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 unedited in-flight safety video for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP. The scene in question comes in at the 2:49 mark.

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  1. How refreshing that a company would cut a scene due to concerns about offending the gay opposed to cutting a scene due to concerns that showing sensitivity to the gay community would offend straights.

    Posted by: peterparker | Dec 12, 2010 9:12:45 PM

  2. harmless

    Posted by: ACe | Dec 12, 2010 9:19:56 PM

  3. Yes, it's REALLY HOMOPHOBIC that a straight guy doesn't want to kiss another guy. My God, so HOMOPHOBIC.

    Posted by: Jason 2 | Dec 12, 2010 9:22:52 PM

  4. The gay guy's last name is Coxhead.

    Posted by: KD | Dec 12, 2010 9:29:41 PM

  5. I have flown on Air New Zealand numerous times and seen the safety video each time. The video is great fun and really catches everyones attention. As a gay man I find nothing offensive about the video. People need to lighten up and not take things so much to heart.

    Posted by: James | Dec 12, 2010 9:31:27 PM

  6. Well, think of it this way: why would you think a STRAIGHT guy would want to kiss a gay GUY in the first place?


    Would it make sense for a GAY guy wanted to be kissed by a WOMAN?

    Sure both situations are harmless, but still why SHOULD they kiss?

    Being offended is silly, whether its by hearing "marry christmas" the display of the ten commandments or an exhibit showing an aunt covered Jesus.

    Posted by: pepa | Dec 12, 2010 9:36:43 PM

  7. really? the actors name was coxhead? really?

    Posted by: Brian | Dec 12, 2010 9:38:31 PM

  8. Jesus . . . fraking lighten up everybody!!! Not only is this one of the most informative videos on safety I have ever seen, but it was cute and I think joyous.

    There was nothing offensive in that video. It is going to be difficult to be taken seriously on the more important issues, such a bullying, and equal rights to marry and serve in the military if we act like a bunch of fricking drama queens, making a big fuss about every little perceived or imagined insult or slight.

    The true celebration of diversity should not be about losing our distinctive and respective personalities and attributes, and in the process our sense of humor about those things that make us different, but marking those differences by recognizing them with good humor.

    Again . . . Lighten the Frak up.

    Posted by: Ricco | Dec 12, 2010 9:43:30 PM

  9. This sentence doesn't make any sense as written: "A representative for the airline says that higher-ups discussed the scene before production, including those in the gay community, and after initially finding no problem with it, decided to move forward." What exactly does "those in the gay community"refer to?

    Posted by: McCoysMarketNY | Dec 12, 2010 9:51:56 PM

  10. flew delta recently, and this air new zealand ad puts the delta ad to shame. this one was fun, colorful, friendly, well produced, reasonably well acted, quickly paced, etc etc etc. the streaking old lady wasnt too risque for american television or plane flights. i would love to see videos like this next time i fly on a us-based airline.

    also, i didnt find the cheek kissing bit to me remotely homophobic. the rugby player brushes it off in a really cute, funny, and not mean way.

    Posted by: bryce | Dec 12, 2010 9:55:37 PM

  11. I don't find it all that offensive, but it doesn't make any sense for them to portray their staff requesting kisses from clients, regardless of gender. In a professional situation, I would never ask either a co-worker or a client for a kiss.

    Pepa, I'm a gay man and I certainly don't have any problem being kissed by a woman in a situation where it's appropriate. My dear female friend had me over Friday for a party and greeted me with a smile and hug and a kiss on the cheek. If you would refuse a kiss on the cheek to a friend because she is female, then that's your own issue, not every gay man's.

    Likewise, some straight guys would be glad to give a celebratory kiss on the cheek to a close male friend. In fact, I just got off Skype with my dad and he went "Mwwahhh" at the screen to sign off... but most people, gay, straight, male or female, probably would not oblige an unfamiliar flight attendant of either sex with a kiss for having shown them a safety demonstration.

    Posted by: GregV | Dec 12, 2010 10:03:59 PM

  12. A refused kiss is so offensive it's to be cut, but granny's arse, even blurred out, is not? Uuy.

    Posted by: RJ | Dec 12, 2010 10:28:05 PM

  13. Fart City.

    Posted by: kodiak | Dec 12, 2010 11:26:19 PM

  14. I don't see any harm with or without the kiss.

    Posted by: Fred | Dec 12, 2010 11:39:32 PM

  15. Coxhead. Almost as good as Richard Johnson, Phil McCracken, Jaque Meoff, or the U.S. Senator from New Hampshire Dick Swett [pronounced sweat]. I remember driving around New Hampshire seeing Dick's campaign signs.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 12, 2010 11:51:56 PM

  16. People that say "frak" or any variation of the word need to be shot between the eyes...with a cannon.

    Posted by: D.R.H. | Dec 12, 2010 11:55:29 PM

  17. How do we know this is offensive?

    Suppose it was any male passenger, and a female flight attendant. NO male passenger, straight or gay, would refuse to kiss a female flight attendant in this commercial. What business wants to advertise it's non-kissing customers?

    The reason this is in the video is because it plays on subtle homophobia, that is so common we take it for granted, and that's why so many Auntie Toms are OK with it, despite the prejudice it reinforces.

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 13, 2010 12:17:42 AM

  18. Both Will(Coxhead) and Jose (Taiapa), the 2 male flight attendants, are actual openly gay Air NZ flight attendants, not actors. This country is sooo small. They're also great guys, with Jose a former Mormon missionary go figure. Sexy fuckers, literally. Just wish one of our All Blacks would come out as Sonny Bill Williams..mmm..SBW..

    Posted by: Dane | Dec 13, 2010 12:21:15 AM

  19. Everyone is missing the obviously vastly more important thing to be learned from this video.


    I think I need to sit down.

    Posted by: BobN | Dec 13, 2010 12:36:14 AM

  20. I agree with Randy. It is subtle homophobia. As long as that continues it makes it harder for full equality. Just because it is lighthearted does not mean it is not damaging. Homophobia with a smile is still homophobia. It subtly reinforces that something is bad about gay people.

    Some may say to pick your battles, but if we let the little ones slide, it makes the bigger ones even harder to fight. People need to recognize homophobia in all forms if we are truly going to change people's minds.

    Posted by: James | Dec 13, 2010 12:38:42 AM

  21. ...and everytime a Qantas flight takes off, a bottom gets its wings

    Posted by: blokrway | Dec 13, 2010 1:25:39 AM

  22. Obviously the joke is on the straight rugby player, no?

    Posted by: Continental | Dec 13, 2010 1:30:31 AM

  23. I think if the expression on the straight guy's face wasn't so expressive (it looks like he's disgusted) then it would have been fine with me. But as it stands, I think it is a right call to edit it out.

    Posted by: gayalltheway | Dec 13, 2010 1:41:12 AM

  24. @RANDY: True........if it was a woman we would all be expected to kiss her......this is playing up the bloody macho bullshit of rugby.......
    It's a long way from Mark Bingham and the gay rugby players of SF.

    And how many rugby players in new Zealand or else where have come out ? None that I know of because of this pretence that they're all straight. Crap.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Dec 13, 2010 2:12:05 AM

  25. @gayalltheway: just remember the straight guy is not an actor... he is a professional (and VERY hot) sportsman... his "expressive" expression could easily be simply because he is just hamming it up a little like a lot of amateur actors.

    When I saw the video I just read the scene as a "thanks but no thanks" deal... nothing overly homophobic and just a bit of fun

    Posted by: notnerb | Dec 13, 2010 3:01:13 AM

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