Southwest Airlines pilot issues apology for crude anti-gay rantBreaking News, Top Highlights Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
James Taylor, a Southwest Airlines pilot based in Argyle, Texas, issued a written apology Tuesday after accidentally recording an extended anti-gay and discriminatory conversation on the FAA’s radio system last week.
MSNBC reports that Taylor unintentionally left his microphone on during a conversation in the cockpit, during which complained about a surfeit of “gays, grannies and grandes” in the flight attendant dating pool. The recording, which was released to international news outlets after investigators realized it had been tying up air traffic control frequencies, includes gay slurs, profanity, and mocking comments in reference to overweight and elderly flight attendants.
In Tuesday’s statement, Taylor expressed his “deep regret” for making the recorded remarks.
“I take full responsibility for those comments,” he explained, adding specific apologies to the Houston-based crew who took the brunt of his bashing on the recording. “Please know that this event has forever changed me,” he concluded. “I hope that others can learn from my mistakes. I learned a much-needed lesson to be more sensitive of others and I hope you will see me as a more tolerant and considerate person.”
In response to Taylor’s written statement, some of the pilot’s colleagues expressed offense, as opposed to gratitude, at his choice of language. One employee noted that they would hope to be accepted rather than simply tolerated – a distinction Taylor failed to make in his letter.
James Taylor has been suspended as a result of the incident.
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