A US mother has complained that she had to “shield her son’s eyes” on a plane as a fellow passenger watched sex scenes on their seatback screen nearby.
LaKeisha Fleming wrote an essay for the website Insider on Sunday (4 December), slamming the unnamed airline for providing “explicit” films in their entertainment selection.
“I flew with my son for his national speech competition and was ready to watch some shows in flight,” wrote Ms Fleming.
“In the row in front of us, I saw someone watching an explicit sex scene on the airplane screen. When I complained to the airline, it told me to change seats if it happened again,” she complained.
“We were both ready to unwind as our flight took off,” the mother of one continues in the article.
“We had our snacks and books, and because our seats had screens, I knew we could laugh at our favorite shows. I thought I was ready. What I was not ready for was having to shield my son’s eyes from an explicit nude sex scene.”
Ms Fleming says, as she organised family-friendly content for her son to watch, she noticed the passenger on the row in front was watching an “explicit” sex scene, in clear view of her child.
“To be clear, this was not a passenger’s personal device. This scene was playing on the seat back, with the airline providing the entertainment,” she adds.
In her original tweet about the incident, posted back in April, she revealed that the airline she was flying with at the time was Delta.
The mother says she initially positioned herself between her son and the view of the screen in front, and when the sex scene was over, she went to ask the airline’s flight attendants what they could do about the situation.
“They offered to move our seats,” she says. “Even then, they said, someone else could play that same content. In essence, there was nothing they could do.”
Ms Fleming claims that studies have shown “adolescent exposure to sexually explicit content” has been linked to “risky sexual behaviour in emerging adults”.
Meanwhile, Texas-based psychologist Dr Zishan Khan told Insider that children can find exposure to explicit content “traumatising”.
Ms Fleming says a Delta representative responded to her written complaint saying there was nothing she could do other than to change seats, as she had been advised on the flight.
She feels airline entertainment should be censored to ensure it is family-friendly for the children onboard
“US airlines have the choice to edit their TV shows and movies so they were appropriate for general audiences. In such close quarters, where screens are clearly visible to people in the surrounding area, this would be a responsible and ethical option and one they should reconsider,” she wrote.
A Delta Air Lines spokesperson said: “We were in touch directly with this customer to listen and address her concerns following their flight earlier this year in April 2022. Onboard our aircraft we aim to give our diverse customer base relevant, popular and inclusive entertainment options, each of which is screened in advance to ensure compliance with our content guidelines.
“We offer parent control functions within our seatback system so parents can control what their kids can view, and all films offer the MPAA ratings to alert customers of mature content.”
It’s not the first time a parent has taken issue with their child’s experience onboard a flight.