Perhaps when we reach the age of 50, we’re just a bit more sensitive to ageism when we see it.
The beloved 91-year-old comedian Betty White has a new starring role in Air New Zealand’s lastest in-flight safety video. I don’t think it’s one of her finest performances.
It seems like just a few years ago that safety instructions were “live acts” on most airplanes. (Some smaller carriers still do that.) But this safety video is filmed at the fictional “Second Wind Retirement Resort,” starring White and a cast of older characters (including the Love Boat’s Gavin MacLeod) acting out flight safety instructions.
Watching this video, which has gone viral on YouTube with more than a million hits, made me cringe. It pokes fun at sight, hearing, mobility and memory impairments—as well as age.
This isn’t the first heroic attempt to use humor to get passengers to pay attention to in-flight safety instructions, which, admittedly, can be pretty boring. But this is the first I’ve seen that does so at the expense of one particular group of passengers.
The provocative video called “Safety Old School Style” was called “hilarious” on the well-respected travel site, Gadling, whose reviewer didn’t seem to find anything wrong with this portrayal.
Take a peek at the video and let me know what you think:
I have never flown Air New Zealand and only learned about the video because it was mentioned by Ronni Bennett, creator of the wonderful blog called, Time Goes By, who asked her readers whether it was ageist or cheeky.
- What do you think of its portrayal over-50 flyers?
- Do you think it’s sending the right message to our children and grandchildren?