Posted on 21 Jun 2011 at 11:02pm
An air traffic controller repeatedly tries to interrupt the pilot and alert him that his microphone is on, but the pilot doesn’t notice. Much of the anti-gay language has been bleeped out in the audio posted on Channel 2′s website, but it’s not hard to fill in the blanks:
“Well, I had Tucson to Indy all four weeks and, uh, Chicago crews … 11 out of 12 … there’s 12 flight attendants, individual, never the same flight attendant twice,” the pilot says. “Eleven (expletive) over the top (expletive), (expletive) homosexuals and a granny. Eleven. I mean, think of the odds of that. I thought I was in Chicago, which was party-land. … After that, it was just a continuous stream of gays and grannies and grandes …”
After an inaudible comment by his co-pilot, presumably about gays, the pilot continues: “Well I don’t give a (expletive). I hate 100 percent of their (expletive). So, six months, I went to the bar three times. In six months, three times. … Once with the granny and the fag, and I wish I hadn’t gone.”
Channel 2 has a complete transcript as well as the audio.
According to Southwest Airlines, the pilot was suspended without pay for the incident, but the company declined to say for how long and added that Southwest considers it “a family matter.”
The FAA also issued a statement saying it “expects a higher level of professionalism from flight crews, regardless of the circumstances.”
Cece Cox, executive director of Resource Center Dallas, is quoted extensively in the story, and RCD reportedly will be issuing a follow-up statement about the incident Wednesday morning.
“This individual has made statements that are anti-woman, anti-age, and anti-gay in a way that can’t be disputed and they’re hateful and they’re damaging to the employees of Southwest Airlines as well as consumers of Southwest Airlines,” Cox told Channel 2. “I hope it’s an isolated incident. I hope they look and see what’s happening in their culture because clearly this incident shows that there’s something happening in this culture that allowed this person to make those kind of remarks and exhibit this kind of hostility, discrimination and hate.”
In case you’re wondering Southwest Airlines received a score of 95 out of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2011 Corporate Equality Index. According to HRC, the company conducts mandatory LGBT diversity training for all employees.
"I’m pretty much afraid of the comments I’ve read. Some are positive and most of them negative. Why would you want the pilot to be fired? There is the option of free speech; however, the mic was left on which is a total
misnomer on the pilot’s fault, whether the button got stuck or not. He voiced his opinion about certain entities and will now feel the brunt of his mistake. Let Southwest take care of the problem; we can’t offer any cure for
his mistake and certainly can’t offer an apology to those who’ve been offended….Southwest can, however, and I think they’ve done their duty within their own guidelines. There’s no reason to condemn the pilot for this mistake. It was totally unintentional and his conversation with his co-pilot was on a personal level. Yes, we all heard it but the fact remains it was intended to be between the two of them. It was a mistake,
pure and simple. His being pardoned is not acceptable and Southwest knows this. They’re taking care of the problem with their own standards. Lets not get our undies in a bunch over this. It happens every single day in our lives where homophobes make dangerous and submitting gestures. His comments are totally stupid on his account but I consider the source. There are much more waryimg people out there who’d just love to catch a gay guy and beat the hell out of him. This I fear, but the pilots comments go into one ear and out the other. There’s no need to be upset about his homophobic attitude. He’ll come around soon enough and will ultimately be a supporter, in kind."