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Racy Thai soap opera offends flight attendants

A popular new Thai soap opera about love and infidelity in the high skies has angered Thai Airways flight attendants who demanded Monday that the show be canceled for casting their profession in an unrealistic and immoral light.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The makers of a racy Thai soap opera about airline crews apologized Tuesday for offending real-life flight attendants, who had complained that its scenes of sexual hijinx sullied their reputations.

The Exact Company Ltd., producers of the “The Air Hostess War,” said at a news conference that they were sorry if they had offended anyone, and would tame some of the show’s racier elements.

“The Air Hostess War” follows the sexual shenanigans of a dashing married pilot and features love triangles, fights in the plane aisles and trysts on stopovers in exotic locations.

“I’m sorry that our soap opera has caused such a fuss. I would like to say that we don’t have any intention of causing trouble. We just want to entertain our viewers,” said the show’s director, Nipon Pewnen.

The producers promised to tone down the show’s titillation factor in yet-to-be filmed episodes, by lengthening the revealing skirts of its stewardess characters and curbing their jealous brawls.

“There will be no scenes that show characters having cat-fights, not when they’re in uniform, on duty and in public,” said Takonkiat Weerawan, an executive from Exact Company.

The labor union of Thai Airways International filed a complaint Tuesday with the government’s Culture Ministry, demanding that it force changes in the show. The ministry said it would try to mediate a solution.

Union members went public with their complaints Monday, after the show premiered on local TV Channel 5 last week.

“This soap opera is insulting and damaging to the reputation of flight attendants,” said Noppadol Thaungthong, a Thai Airways flight attendant leading the union’s action. “It’s all about sex and air hostesses beating each other up in the cabin because of love and jealousy. This kind of thing never happens.”