Unflattering portrait of cabin crew to stay on air

BANGKOK — The producer of a primetime Thai soap opera that portrays flight attendants in an unflattering light apologized but refused to pull his show off the air Wednesday.

Series producer Thakonkiat Weerawan insisted it’s unfair to ask for a ban and said his program is more than just about cabin crew slapping each other.

The union of Thai Airways flight attendants has demanded that Channel 5 take the popular, 2-week-old TV series off the air.

The skein “Songkram Nang Fah” (Angels War) is an adaptation of a blog-novel telling the story of in-flight jealousy among a group of air hostesses who fight over the love of a handsome pilot. The portrayal of flight attendants as brainless beauties obsessed with men, including a sky-high bitch fight in an airborne restroom, has enraged real-life stewardesses of the national carrier.

“My show encourages viewers to use their judgment and is not just about flight attendants fighting over a man,” he said.

Weerawan, who is also a famous legit director, promised to cut scenes showing cabin crew slapping each other to placate the protesters.

The Thai Airways union has lodged a formal complaint with the Ministry of Culture. It will organize a meeting between all parties involved Friday.

“Angels War” was adapted from a sensational Internet novel written by a former stewardess who relied on her real-life experiences to create the cast of characters including jealousy-fueled air hostesses, womanizing pilots and a gay male flight attendant.

Thai soap operas remain the most popular form of entertainment among locals of all classes. They hardly get international distribution, though many are available on homevid for Thai communities in countries with large numbers of immigrants from the country.

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