An openly lesbian actress and musician, Leisha Hailey, was escorted off a Southwest Airlines flight Monday for kissing her girlfriend, she said.
The agitated star, best known for playing Alice Pieszecki in Showtime's The L Word, took to Twitter to call for a boycott of the carrier. I have been discriminated against by @SouthwestAir. Flt. attendant said that it was a family airline and kissing was not ok, Hailey, 40, tweeted about the incident.
We were escorted off the plane for getting upset about the issue. @SouthwestAir endorses homophobic employees. No one made her accountable, Hailey tweeted. This is an outrage. I demand a public apology by @SouthwestAir and a refund. Hate is not a family value. I will never fly this airline.
Since when is showing affection towards someone you love illegal? I want to know what Southwest Airlines considers as 'family', Hailey added.
Southwest Airlines responded with a statement posted on its Web site defending the action, saying passengers were approached based solely on behavior and not gender.
The Southwest statement said that, the conversation escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground, as opposed to in flight. The carrier also offered heartfelt apologies for falling short of passengers' expectations.
Hailey appealed to boycott the airlines saying I know plenty of wonderful same sex families I would like to introduce them to. Boycott @SouthwestAir if you are gay. They don't like us.
Hailey and her unnamed girlfriend were flying from Baltimore to St. Louis when the incident occurred and the discussion followed when the flight landed.
Born in Okinawa, Japan, to American parents, Hailey came out as a lesbian when she was 17, before moving to New York City to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
This isn't the first time Southwest has made news by kicking passengers off following arguments with the crew.
Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight this month for wearing sagging pants and talking back to a flight attendant.
Armstrong, who tweeted from the airport, was furious, Just got kicked off a southwest flight because my pants sagged too low! What the f**k? No joke!
In another incident last year, Southwest kicked off Red State director Kevin Smith from an Oakland to Burbank flight for being too fat.
Smith responded with a series of angry tweets:
Oakland Southwest attendant Suzanne (wouldn't give last name) told me Captain Leysath deemed me a safety risk. Again: I'm way fat... But I'm not THERE just yet. But if I am, why wait til my bag is up, and I'm seated WITH ARM RESTS DOWN.
According to reports, Smith lost 65 pounds in a year after the incident.