IF YOU ever thought that flight attendants were nothing but empty-headed bimbos, who, quite frankly, couldn’t care less about what you think of them, you are wrong! Members of the US Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) have called for a boycott of Jodie Foster’s new film, Flightplan, which portrays a flight attendant and a US air marshal as being terrorists. It also portrays flight attendants as being unhelpful and uncaring.
The union, which represents around 90,000 flight attendants, said that casting cabin crew members as villains in the movie was irresponsible in light of heightened security concerns since the September 11, 2001 attacks, in which suicide hijackers used airliners as guided missiles.
The Walt Disney film stars Foster as an airline passenger, who wakes from an in-flight snooze to find her young daughter missing. It turns out that one of the flight attendants aboard is involved in a terrorist plot hatched by the plane’s air marshal.
“This depiction of flight attendants is an outrage,” said the Association of Flight Attendants’ (AFA) International President, Patricia Friend. “Flight attendants continue to be the first line of defence on an aircraft and put their lives on the line, day after day, for the safety of passengers.”
The AFA says that moviegoers will take away impressions that will make it more difficult for flight attendants to earn the trust and respect of passengers and that the portrayal of airline cabin crew members as evil-doers adds further insult to long-standing Hollywood stereotypes – stereotypes that have depicted flight attendants as sexualised bubble heads or as harsh, humourless disciplinarians.
A Disney spokesman said that in making Flightplan, which grossed nearly 25 million US dollars in its first weekend, “there was absolutely no intention on the part of the studio or filmmakers to create anything but a great action thriller”.