Leisha Hailey, star of the L- Word, claims to have been kicked off of a Southwest flight for kissing her girlfriend Camila Grey. The star, who is openly gay, then took to twitter to demand a boycott of the airline.
Hailey's version of the story varies from that of Southwest, which prides itself on being LGBT friendly.
The 40-year-old star, who started her career as a musician, is best known for her role as bisexual writer Alice on the hit Showtime series L- Word, which follows the lives of a group of lesbian and bisexual friends.
She's making headlines today after she tweeted about the incident, saying she was removed from an aircraft in El Paso, Texas after a flight attendant said that it was a 'family' airline and kissing was not OK.
She became vocally angered, and she and her girlfriend were escorted off the plane.
Southwest claims that the issue was best solved outside the plane and that passengers had complained about the kissing, characterizing it as excessive.
The conversation escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground, as opposed to in flight, the airline explained in a statement Tuesday.
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, Southwest added.
A passenger who was on the flight with Hailey told IBTimes that the couple was not kicked off the plane for being gay.
They were being completely inappropriate with their vulgar language from the beginning, the passenger, who wished to remain unnamed, said.
They started off being upset that they were called over the loud speaker to catch the flight and then once on board, found out that there would be a 20-minute delay before taking off. They continued to use obscene language and make-out with each other in front of numerous small children around them. Finally, the flight attendant leaned in and politely asked them to tone down their behavior, which in turn set them off even more, crying 'discrimination.' The flight attendant even said to them that she would do the same if it were a hetero couple or gay male couple.
Hailey claims on her twitter account that she has both audio and video footage of the incident to back up her case, though neither has been released.
She unleashed a firestorm of tweets on Monday:
I have been discriminated against by @SouthwestAir. Flt. attendant said that it was a family airline and kissing was not ok.
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.
We were escorted off the plane for getting upset about the issue. @SouthwestAir endorses homophobic employees. No one made her accountable.
Since when is showing affection towards someone you love illegal? I want to know what Southwest Airlines considers as family.
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.
Did I mention to @SouthwestAir that I have a lot of their actions recorded on audio and video? RT #boycottSouthwest #discrimination
A statement released on Tuesday afternoon again disputes Southwest's claims, though the couple apologizes for getting verbally upset with the flight attendant.
We were never told the reason the flight attendant approached us, we were only scolded that we 'needed to be aware that Southwest Airlines was a family oriented airline,' the statement reads. No matter how quietly homophobia is whispered, it doesn't make it any less loud. You can't whisper hate. We ask this airline to teach their employees to not discriminate against any couple, ever, regardless of their own beliefs.
The couple claims to be in the process of filing a formal complaint with Southwest Airlines.