Leisha Hailey, who appeared on The L Word, was escorted off a Southwest Airlines flight after fellow passengers complained about excessive affectionate behavior between Hailey and her girlfriend.
Earlier Monday, Hailey posted a succession of tweets announcing that she had been discriminated against by the airline:
I have been discriminated against by @SouthwestAir. Flt. attendant said that it was a 'family' airline and kissing was not ok, read the first tweet.
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, she wrote right after that.
Southwest later issued a statement that included a vague apology, but largely defended the airline's actions.
The statement, which Southwest broadcast via a Twitter link, reads:
Initial reports indicate that we received several passenger complaints characterizing the behavior as excessive. Our crew, responsible for the comfort of all Customers on board, approached the passengers based solely on behavior and not gender. The conversation escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground, as opposed to in flight. 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 expectations.
Hailey has not yet responded to the statement via Twitter. She did mention in one tweet earlier Money that a lot of Southwest airline employees' actions were recorded on audio and video, and is calling for the LGBT community to boycott the airline.
The ejection is sort of an example of art imitating life -- if you support the discrimination claims. In later seasons of The L Word, Hailey's character was involved with a woman who was in the military, and who was forced to leave after the lesbian relationship was discovered.
One of Leisha Hailey's followers posted a link to her Twitter feed: The link leads to a page on the Southwest Web site discussing its commitment to the LGBT community.