American Airlines ‘Unable to Substantiate’ Lena Dunham Complaint over ‘Transphobic’ Employees


American Airlines launched an investigation to identify two of its employees after actress Lena Dunham informed the airline she had overheard a private conversation in which they’d engaged in “transphobic talk” — but after looking into the complaint, the airline said it could not “substantiate” it.

The saga began Thursday, when Dunham tweeted to American Airlines that while walking in a terminal, she had overheard a private conversation between two employees “about how trans kids are a trend they’d never accept a trans child and transness is gross.”

“I think it reflects badly on uniformed employees of your company to have that kind of dialogue going on. What if a trans teen was walking behind them? Awareness starts at home but jobs can set standards of practice,” Dunham wrote the airline in direct messages she later posted to social media.

The airline quickly responded, promising they would pass the information along to their team “for review.”

American also issued a statement in which the company said it was “looking into the allegations,” and stressed that it is committed to “inclusion and diversity.”

“From the team members we hire to the customers we serve, inclusion and diversity is a way of life at American Airlines,” the airline said in a statement. “Every day, our team members work to make American a place where people of all generations, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, religious affiliations and backgrounds feel welcome and valued.”

However, an airline spokesperson told Fox News Friday that the company was not yet able to find any evidence of wrong-doing.

“We always look into complaints from customers, but at this time, we are unable to substantiate these allegations,” the spokesperson said.

According to ABC News, Dunham appeared to have taken a flight on Delta Air Lines out of Terminal 4 at JFK airport in New York. American Airlines reportedly operates out of the airport’s Terminal 8.

Dunham tweeted Friday morning about her “takeaway” from the experience.

“For those who followed my airport saga yesterday, here’s my takeaway: these days it’s the little things. A smile. Offering a seat. Respect,” she wrote.

“We can’t afford to treat each other like cattle when we have a government that does,” she wrote in another tweet that has apparently since been deleted but was reported upon by ABC News. “Being trapped at the airport filled me with love!”

American’s pushback against Dunham’s claim is at least the second time in one month that the actress has been publicly challenged over a story she told on social media.

In July, a Brooklyn animal shelter disputed Dunham’s claim that her dog Lamby, whom she had sent to a treatment facility, had been abused from an early age by multiple owners. A representative for the shelter told Yahoo in an interview that they “did not know where she got” the claim from.


Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum


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