AnnaLynne McCord Claims Southwest Airlines Discriminated Against Gay Couple and Their Daughters
AnnaLynne McCord is speaking out for a gay couple she claims where discriminated against by Southwest Airlines
AnnaLynne McCord is speaking out for a gay couple she claims where discriminated against by Southwest Airlines.
The 90210 alum wrote an open letter to the low-cost carrier on Instagram and Twitter Friday, sharing a shot of the two men and their two daughters smiling in their seats.
“Have you ever felt bullied? Have you ever been picked on? Have you ever been rejected? The one who got left out because for some reason to another person you didn’t measure up; you did not belong?” she asked Southwest in the beginning of her note.
McCord, 30, then went on to claim that the couple’s daughters were “made to feel just” that by Southwest employees, while flying recently with their dads on the girls’ first flight ever.
Though all were heading out on a family trip, McCord alleged that the Southwest employees “made it clear that these beautiful little girls and their fathers were not in fact ‘family.’ ”
“When it came time for ‘Family Boarding,’ these little girls were shown what has caused the detriment in our world; hate,” McCord wrote. “They were not allowed to board with the other families and had to watch as their fathers were told that they didn’t count as family.”
“Love is what these wonderful little girls have for their Dads. Love does not separate, it unites,” she added.
The star than asked the Dallas-based company a simple question: “Why?”
“Why would your company representatives (the desk agents boarding the plane on behalf of your corporation) believe that it is okay to reject these little girls’ love for their fathers, making them feel that they are not good enough? That their family should be left out?” she asked.
“Is that not a form of bullying? Is that not a form of hate?” McCord wondered. “I certainly wouldn’t call it love.”
Imploring the company to “provide a happy experience for all of its customers,” McCord suggested they “hire individuals who despise hate, not love; who embrace difference, not look down on it.”
“Please, don’t allow your company to promote the hate that destroys the pure innocence of the love of a child,” she concluded her note, signing it “With an Absolutely Broken Heart.”
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Southwest Airlines has yet to respond publicly to McCord. A spokesperson for the airlines told PEOPLE that they had not heard of any complaints regarding the passengers’ treatment and had reached out to them directly but had not heard back. They also said the aircraft was not full and had over 100 seats available. Still, they said they do not tolerate discrimination of any kind and that they “regret any less than positive travel experience.”
“We don’t have any existing reports associated with the Customers’ travel experience but we have contacted the Employees involved for an internal review of what happened,” the airline spokesperson said. “Our Customer Care Team reached out directly to the Customer and has not received a response. Our Employees work to carry out our Boarding policy for families traveling together, while also maintaining boarding priorities for all Customers. This particular flight departed with 66 passengers onboard, out of 175 seats offered on this aircraft type – leaving more than 100 open seats available.
“We welcome onboard more than 115 million Customers each year and Southwest neither condones nor tolerates discrimination of any kind. A cursory view of our workforce, and our expansive, multi-cultural Customer base whose loyalism brings them back to Southwest is an endorsement and reliable indicator that we exalt, appreciate and celebrate diversity. We regret any less than positive travel experience and look forward to working directly with these Customers to ensure their concerns are heard and addressed.
McCord’s rep also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Since McCord’s note, many users on Twitter have praised the star for being an ally to the LGBTQ community.