British Airways delays showing Jewish sitcom in planes due to war

7 months ago
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British Airways, the UK’s national flagship airline, has reportedly halted plans to offer the Jewish sitcom “Hapless” in its aircraft’s entertainment systems – allegedly due to concerns it might provoke strong reactions amid the Israel-Hamas war, UK-based newspaper Daily Telegraph reported last week.
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According to the report, the airline is delaying plans to add the sitcom series, which is currently airing on Netflix in some countries and Amazon Prime, to its in-flight entertainment systems to avoid any appearance of taking sides in the war.

In August, the airline agreed to purchase the first season to make it available for passengers for six months starting in December. However, the company later halted the deal a few days after Hamas’ attack on October 7.

Gary Sinyor, the show’s writer, director, and producer, learned about the decision from Spafax Media, an international media company specializing in working with and mediating between creators and airlines. According to the Daily Telegraph’s report, the Jewish showrunner claims that he was told British Airways did not want to “take sides” in the war by screening the show and wanted to delay the deal until the end of the war.

An email sent by Spafax to Sinyor on October 13 and seen by the Daily Telegraph, read: “BA Press office have asked us to review content on board and being booked in relation to Israel/Palestine and the conflict currently happening. Their preference is to remain as neutral in these situations as possible. 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.”

The series’ creator tried to challenge the decision, describing it as “nonsensical.” Sinyor told the Daily Telegraph: “The series has nothing to do with Israel-Palestine. I mean, other than that the Jewish people live in Israel and that Israel is a Jewish state, it has nothing to do with it. I think what it shows is a fear of being perceived as being pro Israel just because it’s got Jewish characters in it.”

A British Airways spokesperson responded to the news outlet in a statement, saying “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.” Spafax Media did not provide a comment.…Read more by Ynet

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