The video, which was shared on social media, shows the four women performing a skit taking place aboard an imaginary aircraft, making jokes about airline travel and interacting with a first-class male passenger. The women then serenade the man with a rendition of “Big Spender” and “I’m Stone in Love With You” after theorizing that he may have enough money to take them for dinner.
The skit was described as being a “burlesque-like routine” by Forbes, which also reported that the women seen performing the skit were allegedly four off-duty American Airlines employees based out of Dallas.
“This cannot be happening in today’s environment,” said Lori Bassani, the national president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), which represents over 25,000 American Airlines employees.
“We will not tolerate our profession being objectified in a sexist manner,” Bassani added, demanding more “facts about the company’s involvement” in the event.
American Airlines has since responded to the video, denying any involvement in the “customer-organized concert” and saying it “was not sanctioned by the airline.”
“This was not an American Airlines event,” American said in a statement. “We did not have any say about the content of the event, nor did we preview any of the agenda. Additionally, we were particularly upset to see our logo on the screen as the skit was performed.”
The airline added that it was “as upset as many of you are” about the video, and that it voiced its “displeasure with the content of the skit” to the group hosting the event.
The Dallas Morning News also spoke with the person who filmed the video that was shared to social media over the weekend, confirming that the event was not organized by the airline.
"This was just a group of friends who happen to share a love of aviation and routinely fly American Airlines, having a good time, nothing more," said the man, who also removed his video from the web.
Meanwhile, the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), which represents over 50,000 flight attendants from over 20 airlines, has released a statement of its own, asking American Airlines to further “denounce a culture of harassment and objectification of Flight Attendants.”
"We join with our sisters and brothers at APFA in calling on American Airlines to answer questions about how this AA passenger event could have happened and set a new course free of harassment,” the AFA wrote. The organization also claimed that American Airlines had not “stepped up” to answer its questions about instituting a “zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment.”
"Sexual harassment isn't about sex, it's about power. The timing of this sketch could not be more out of sync with Flight Attendants' role and importance in our country. In recent weeks, Flight Attendants played a key role in defending the safety and security of the passengers in our care,” the AFA wrote.