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This bikini-clad airline safety video is being withdrawn after a storm of criticism

Air New Zealand’s in-flight clip featured Sports Illustrated models demonstrating safety features.
Jul 7th 2014, 5:57 PM 31,760 97

EARLIER THIS YEAR, Air New Zealand launched a new in-flight safety video featuring a string of Sports Illustrated swimsuit models.

Called Safety in Paradise, it featured Christie Brinkley, Chrissy Teigen, Jessica Gomes, Hannah Davis and Ariel Meredith demonstrating air safety features in bikinis.

They showed people how to do up their seatbelts:

And how to inflate their lifejackets:

And how to find the emergency exits.

Source: Air New Zealand/YouTube

However, the video sparked a storm of criticism, which has intensified in recent days.

A petition on Change.org calling for the video to be withdrawn has had more than 11,000 signatures. Organiser Natasha Young writes:

A safety video is to alert passengers on what to do in an emergency; it should not be an excuse to objectify the sexualised female body.

She adds that the video “disregards” passengers who “believe women deserve more respect, and who have teenage daughters who deserve more respect”, as well as creating “an unnecessarily difficult and uncomfortable working environment for [the airline's] female staff”.

Twitter users also chimed in, using the hashtag #AirNZSexism.

However, there were also supporters of the video.

The clip has now been removed from use on Air New Zealand flights. The petition’s organisers have hailed a victory, writing:

Hopefully, Air New Zealand will think twice before they objectify women and use sexism as a bad joke again.

However, Air New Zealand says the decision to withdraw the video had nothing to do with public pressure. A spokesperson told the New Zealand Herald that the company usually changed its safety videos every few months, and that the Sports Illustrated clip had simply reached the end of its run.

Air New Zealand has a track record of making controversial safety videos. In 2009, it put out this in-flight clip featuring real Air New Zealand staff members demonstrating safety features wearing nothing but body paint.

Source: AirNZnothing2hide/YouTube

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Michael Freeman

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