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Bottom drops out of beautiful Air NZ safety video

July 9, 2014 Aviation, Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

egtmedia59It seemed the perfect partnership: Air New Zealand, known for its quirky and fascinating in-flight safety videos, and Sports Illustrated’s iconic swimsuit franchise.

When the two teamed up to produce what Air New Zealand called “the world’s most beautiful safety video” and released the finished product in February, it seemed almost too good to be true. The airline harnessed the mesmerising powers of bikinis and some of the world’s most beautiful young women  to produce Safety in Paradise, shot in the idyllic Cook Islands and featuring  some of the biggest names in modelling, including Chrissy Teigen, Ariel Meredith, Hannah Davis and Jessica unnamed (1)Gomes.

So what could go wrong – and why has the video vanished?

Sexism, that’s what – or at least, perceptions and allegations of sexism, and public indignation over it. A Melbourne woman drew up a petition stating that an in-flight safety video should alert passengers on what to do in an emergency and that safety videos “should not be an excuse to objectify the sexualised female body”.

The petition stated: “This video completely disregards passengers who find it offensive for religious reasons, who have body image struggles, who are parents concerned about their children’s impressionable nature, who believe women deserve more respect, and who have teenage daughters who deserve more respect. This video is culturally insensitive; it disregards those who are conservative by nature and are uncomfortable with its imagery and disregards passengers who have been exposed to sexual assault. This video creates an unnecessarily difficult and uncomfortable working environment for its female staff, which goes against the entire nature of safety.

“This video forces itself upon the passengers; it is played in the small confines of an aircraft there is no option to turn off the video.  This video offends those who value the right to choose. Air NZ appears determined to insist that skies are sexy regardless of who they offend.”

The petition had gathered over 11,000 signatures at last count. Now, the safety video and its brief bikinis have gone and the petition organiser is claiming credit for that, although Air New Zealand insists the video’s departure had nothing to do with public pressure.

An Air New Zealand spokesperson told Fairfax in New Zealand the Sports Illustrated video had reached the end of its run and was being phased out. Passengers on a recent domestic flight, however, noticed the airline was screening a previous safety video, featuring Chief Scout and all-round action man Bear Grylls. That one clearly hadn’t reached its use-by date, despite having been shot before Safety in Paradise.

When Air New Zealand launched Safety in Paradise in mid February, the airline’s head of global brand development, Jodi Williams, described it as “a phenomenal opportunity to further lift the airline’s brand on the global stage and to promote a key Pacific Island destination the airline has been flying to for more than 40 years.

“Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has a massive worldwide television, online and print campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary and we’re incredibly excited to feature in that activity.  The magazine alone has more than 61 million readers annually and the safety video shoot with Air New Zealand will feature in the special anniversary edition.  This is money can’t buy global attention focused on a key destination and our airline,” Williams said.

Readers keen to see for themselves what the fuss is about (or was about) can view Safety in Paradise here and see a short video about making it here. As it’s not in the confines of an aircraft, you can choose whether to watch it.

Written by : Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Trevor says:

    I wager the Melbourne woman who started the petition was an ugly bogan upset that God didn’t bless her with the same beauty, intellect and charm as a SI model – have another VB and packet of beer nuts, love !!!

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