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General news >> Tuesday January 22, 2008

Air hostesses all steamed up over steamy soap


Thai Airways International flight attendant and THAI labour union member Benjamas Pooklomtuan, right, points to a picture featuring female air crew fighting each other in the TV soap opera ``Songkhram Nang Fah'' (Air Hostess War) during a press conference to protest against the TV drama produced by Exact Co.
Reacting furiously to a steamy new TV series about passion at high altitudes, which it says tarnishes its air hostesses' image, the labour union of Thai Airways International is urging the airline's management to suspend sponsorship of all programmes made by the show's producer Exact Co.

Somsak Srinual, president of the union, said yesterday the demand for the suspension of sponsorship would put pressure on Exact and its parent company, GMM Media Plc, to adjust the story line of its prime time series Songkhram Nang Fah (Air Hostess War), which was launched on Channel 5 last week.

''I'd like to ask Exact if the series will improve society or benefit viewers. It introduces violence just to improve the series' ratings,'' he said.

The labour union is complaining because the show depicts air hostesses engaging in fisticuffs, with a dashing pilot as the prize.

The story tarnishes the image of flight attendants and is immoral, Mr Somsak said. Although the series claims to be based on the true story of a flight attendant, scenes of air hostesses fighting each other are fictitious, he said.

He demanded Exact adjust the plot and said his union was ready to advise on the professionalism of air hostesses in real life. Only when the company agreed to the demand would the union stop applying pressure for the programme to be pulled.

He claimed flight attendants of other domestic airlines also disliked the series and backed the THAI union's actions.

The union yesterday filed a written complaint with Exact and will also complain to the Culture Ministry and to Channel 5.

THAI's in-flight manager Pichitra Taveerat said she found the uniforms worn by air hostesses in the show were inappropriate. The skirts were too short and the attendants showed too much cleavage.

Ms Pichitra suggested the series should present the life of flight attendants constructively, in the same way that Japanese series Good Luck!! did.

THAI flight attendant Benjamas Pooklomtuan said the series damaged the image of both flight attendants and the national airline.

Nawat Kulrattanarak, the actor who plays the pilot, said fights over affairs of the heart could happen to people in any profession. ''This story can be found in every profession, not just in the airline business. The lead role in other stories may be a businessman,'' he said.

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