Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My husband's letter to American Airlines

My husband Matthew wrote this letter & emailed it to AA's top executives based on an experience he had on one of their flights, in which the word "bisexual" was censored from an episode of 30 Rock shown on the flight.  Read on.

On November 24, 2011 (Thanksgiving day) I flew with your company on your flight 442 from San Francisco to Miami.  The flight and service was excellent, and I enjoyed the trip.  But, I want to let you know I was deeply offended when I watched your in-flight episode of 30 Rock. 
The in-flight entertainment on your flights is censored for content.  I understand that you would want to censor foul language from movies or truly objectionable content.  What I object to is the censoring of the word 'bisexual' from the episode of 30 Rock.  As a gay man, I am shocked that a national airline which I have always perceived as being open and accepting would censor the word bisexual from a prime-time program.  I would like to know how the mention of bisexuality is offensive?  The context in the show is not sexual at all; the line from which the word was censored is a joke referencing a television program wanting to appeal to a bisexual audience. 
My partner and I frequently fly with American for vacations or to see family.  We both also have a deep connection with American.  My partner’s parents were both employees of American, and his father retired from the company.  My grandfather worked at the Tulsa maintenance base for over thirty years.  My aunt, uncle, and cousin all work at the Tulsa maintenance base.  I spent many hours as a child watching your planes at Tulsa International with my father and grandfather.  I love aviation, and I love to fly American, and have taken your airline whenever possible.  In fact, I chose this routing through San Francisco because I trust American Airlines, and because I wanted to take one of your 767s for the first time.
After seeing this censoring, I am seriously reconsidering my preference for American Airlines.  We travel at least four times each year, to visit our families and for pleasure.  I just don’t feel welcome on your airline anymore.  My partner and I are openly gay; are we still welcome on your flights?  When we fly with you will we be asked to hide our relationship to one another?  And will you be dismissing your LGBT employees?  You seem to find even the existence of non-heterosexuals to be offensive, and I can’t help but take that personally. 
If you wish to get in touch with me to discuss this situation, please contact me at the number above.  I would love to talk with you about American’s commitment to diversity (if any) and what you are doing to rectify this situation.  You have a chance to win back my business; I know I’m only a single passenger, but I don't believe this kind of evil should go unchallenged.
Matthew W. Holloway