Longer skirts, fewer fights for Thai airline soap

Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:32am EST
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BANGKOK (Reuters) - The producer of a sexy Thai soap opera about young air hostesses promised longer skirts and fewer catfights on Tuesday after real flight attendants complained the show was sexist and should be yanked from the airwaves.

The makers of "The War of Angels," which portrays stewardesses fighting for the attention of male pilots at a fictional airline, apologized to staff at national carrier Thai Airways who said the show was demeaning.

"There won't be any more catfight scenes between flight attendants while they are on duty or in uniform in public," Takonkiet Viravan, managing director of production house Exact, told a packed news conference.

"The skirts our actresses wear are not shorter than those worn by hostesses at other international airlines. But we will make our skirts longer," he said.

Airline staffers had complained that the fictional flight attendants wore a too-revealing skirt cut above the knee with a front slit.

The airline's union complained to the Culture Ministry on Tuesday that the prime time show, which has a PG-13 rating, insulted its members and demanded the show be dropped from an army-run television channel.

"Such distortions could mislead society, especially youths, to misunderstand or hate people in this profession in every airline, including Thai Airways," acting union president Somsak Srinual said in a statement.

Ministry officials said they had no authority to force the producer or the television channel to scrap the show, but would bring all sides to a Friday meeting to resolve the dispute.

Exact said it was willing to talk to the union, but pulling the show would violate "the rights of television producers."

"This soap opera does not encourage people to have an affair. Our message is -- faithfulness to your partner will help the family survive," director Nipon Pewnane told reporters.

(Reporting by Nopporn Wong-Anan; Editing by Darren Schuettler and Katie Nguyen)