Lena Dunham took to Twitter this week to call out American Airlines, saying she witnessed two attendants making transphobic comments at the airport.
The former Girls star, who was stuck at New York City’s JFK airport during a four-hour flight delay, claimed she overheard two employees engaging in “transphobic talk” and saying things like “trans kids are a trend” and “transness is gross.”
Though she was traveling with another airline, Dunham decided she couldn’t let their conversation slide and contacted American Airlines directly. In her message, she noted that remarks like the ones she overheard could be devastating to a trans person who might have also witnessed the disturbing conversation.
“I think it reflects badly on uniformed employees of your company to have that kind of dialogue going on. What if a trans teen was walking behind them?” she wrote. “Awareness starts at home but jobs can set standards of practice.” She also tweeted separately that “at this moment in history, we should be teaching our employees about love and inclusivity.”
American Airlines seemed to take the issue seriously, replying to Dunham’s message by asking for more information, then assuring her that the matter would be looked into.
The airline also released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, saying they were looking into the allegations. A spokesperson said, “From the team members we hire to the customers we serve, inclusion and diversity is a way of life at American Airlines. Every day, our team members work to make American a place where people of all generations, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, religious affiliations, and backgrounds feel welcome and valued.”
While we know incidents like this happen more often than we’d like to admit, we hope that people (like Dunham) pointing out why it’s wrong will mean that this kind of intolerance becomes less and less common.
Have you ever spoken up about discrimination or intolerance? Let us know @BritandCo.
(h/t Refinery29; photo via Emma McIntyre/Getty)