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British Airways in Antisemitism Row After Pulling Jewish Sitcom From its Inflight Entertainment

British Airways in Antisemitism Row After Pulling Jewish Sitcom From its Inflight Entertainment

British Airways Gatwick-Based Cabin Crew Tell Airline "Enough is Enough"

British Airways has become embroiled in an antisemitism row after it pulled a Jewish sitcom from its inflight entertainment system amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

The airline was due to air the British satirical comedy series Hapless, which is now in its third season and currently streaming on Amazon Prime, but decided to delay showing the programme over fears passengers would think it had taken a side in the conflict.

According to the Telegraph, bosses at the Heathrow-based carrier signed off a £20,000 deal for the rights to show Hapless on its inflight entertainment system back in August and had intended to make it available for a period of six months starting in December.

Just days after Hamas launched its assault on Israel on October 7, however, British Airways decided to pause the deal.

Gary Sinyor, the writer and director of the comedy series, which follows a frustrated journalist at a local Jewish newspaper in London, was informed of the decision by Spafax, an international licensing agency that secures the rights for films and television shows to be shown onboard planes.

Sinyor was told that BA was going to pause the deal to air Hapless because it didn’t want to appear to be “taking sides”. The decision was apparently part of a wider review of content ordered by the airline in relation to the conflict.

“BA Press office have asked us to review content on board and being booked in relation to Israel/Palestine and the conflict currently happening,” Sinyor was told in an email sent by Spafax.

“Their preference is to remain as neutral in these situations as possible,” the email continued. “As a result we’ve been asked to remove Hapless from the December line-up but are very happy to book this once the conflict dies down.”

Sinyor, who is Jewish, points out that the comedy series is not based in Israel, and the only connection is the fact that there are Jewish characters. The writer says he attempted to convince BA to reverse its decision but was told that the airline was “reluctant to get back to normal programming”.

After failing to get BA to show Hapless as planned, Sinyor approached the press. On X (formerly Twitter), Sinyor wrote on Saturday: “What’s so frustrating is I gave them [British Airways] fair warning to undo it. It could have been a quiet ‘error in communication’. But no joy. Now it appears more thought out – not less.”

“I think that the Muslim community would be concerned as well if they found that things that had Muslim humour in them, or Muslim content or were being made by Muslim filmmakers were being vetoed in this way, even if it’s a temporary veto,” Sinyor told the Telegraph.

British Airways has flown to Israel for more than 90 years, and former CEO Alex Cruz said the country was “one of the most important destinations in British Airways’ history”. The airline has, however, suspended all flights to Tel Aviv over ongoing security concerns and has not yet confirmed when it may resume service to Israel.

In a statement, a spokesperson for British Airways said: “We are proud to offer a wide range of entertainment options for our customers to enjoy. We are constantly reviewing our content and are in the process of planning our 2024 schedule.”

View Comments (3)
  • It’s time Western society stop catering to and kowtowing to 3% of the population who control every industry and own a disproportionate amount of wealth. They call Whites and Christians goys and use their power to push all the terrible things like open borders and race mixing propaganda in all countries except Israel.

    No matter how one feels about this group, it is illogical to care about how 3% of the population feel. Let them move to Israeli occupied Palestine and leave their fake tears there.

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