Let's be real–no one ever listens to the flight safety video on airplanes. No one. We'll admit that we've napped, played candy crush and watched Beyoncé music videos through many a flight attendant's demonstrations on how to properly blow up a life vest. Air New Zealand, sick of passengers browsing SkyMall during their safety briefing, decided to spice up the video by enlisting the help of Sports Illustrated swimsuit models Chrissy Teigen, Hannah Davis, Ariel Meredith, Jessica Gomes and Christie Brinkley to show passengers "the beauty of safety" and celebrate the magazine's 50th anniversary.
The bikini-clad models walk passengers through the aircraft safety protocol–on a beach, reclining in lounge chairs, buckling seatbelts and putting on oxygen masks. Hot girls in swimsuits are enough to make anyone prick up and pay attention to an otherwise boring tutorial, but Air New Zealand's cheeky video had feminists crying foul, calling the informational video sexist and disrespectful to women. Natasha Young launched a Change.org petition urging Air New Zealand to remove the video. "A safety video is to alert passengers on what to do in an emergency; it should not be a celebration of the sexualised female body," the petition reads. "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."
The petition garnered over 11,000 signatures, and the video has since been pulled–but not because of any outrage. An Air New Zealand spokesperson told BuzzFeed that the airline had planned to take the video out of rotation all along and it was supposed to be a temporary thing to coincide with Sports Illustrated's 50th anniversary. Still, the petition organizer is counting this as a victory, "We did it! You guys are just the best! You did so much to take this petition from a little to a lot! This is massive," Young wrote. "I’m so glad to learn I wasn’t alone, and that thousands of people were with me on this. Hopefully, Air New Zealand will think twice before they objectify women and use sexism as a bad joke again."
Watch the video below and let us know: do you think it's sexist or just harmless fun?