Conservative comedian Rob Schneider, known for his sharp wit and candid commentary, recently took to social media to express his concerns about the direction some airlines are heading. In a pointed message to United Airlines’ CEO, Scott Kirby, Schneider announced that he and his family would no longer be choosing United for their air travel needs. The reason? Schneider firmly believes that the airline has placed its diversity and inclusion initiatives ahead of passenger safety.
Schneider’s comments are part of a growing conservative backlash against the emphasis on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in various institutions, fueled by the recent Claudine Gay scandal at Harvard. While Schneider is better known for his humor, his stance on this matter is no laughing matter.
The comedian began his tweet with a pointed remark, highlighting a rumored aspect of Kirby’s life: performing in drag shows. He then delved into his reasons for distancing himself from United Airlines, writing, “Dear Scott Kirby, CEO of @UnitedAirlines and Drag Queen practitioner, I regret to inform you that I will no longer allow my family to fly on your airline as you have clearly placed ‘diversity’ of pilot hiring above the safety of passengers and crew.”
Schneider then recounted a troubling incident from 2023, involving a United Airlines flight that came dangerously close to disaster. He argued that a diverse but allegedly incompetent flight crew had jeopardized the lives of everyone on board. In his words, “As evidenced by the near aviation catastrophe of UA Boeing 777 flight 1722 from Maui to San Francisco on December 18th, 2023, where your diverse but incompetent flight crew didn’t know which flaps were causing its near-disastrous descent, coming within 750 feet of killing everyone aboard your United Airline.”
Schneider’s strong stand against United Airlines’ leadership didn’t go unnoticed. He claimed that numerous United employees had personally thanked him for his candid criticism of what he sees as careless and potentially life-threatening decision-making.
This is an actual Virgin Atlantic ad. They had a “pride flight” featuring a diverse crew & drag queen flight attendants.
Last week a @VirginAtlantic flight was canceled after a passenger noticed missing bolts.
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) January 22, 2024
In his concluding remarks, Schneider turned his attention back to the drag allegations surrounding Kirby, stating, “I look forward to your swift dismissal by UA’s board of directors before your inane actions cause the deaths of hundreds of men, women, and children. After your inevitable firing, you can get back to your true passion, your Drag Queen performances. Sincerely yours, Rob Schneider, Former 1K United Airline frequent flyer.”
In another post, Schneider extended his concerns beyond United Airlines, also expressing reservations about Virgin Atlantic’s approach to safety. Responding to a tweet about Virgin Atlantic’s “pride flight” featuring a diverse crew and drag queen flight attendants, Schneider emphasized the importance of prioritizing passenger and crew safety over what he sees as less critical matters.
While Schneider’s comments may stir controversy, they reflect a broader debate within conservative circles regarding the balance between diversity initiatives and safety in various institutions. As the conversation continues, it remains to be seen how airlines and other organizations will respond to such criticism. Safety in air travel is paramount, and the debate over the role of DEI policies in achieving it shows no signs of abating.