Ryanair fires six crew members for ‘fake’ photo

The low-cost carrier said the staff were dismissed for staging a fake photograph to support a false claim that they were forced to sleep on the floor of the Malaga crew room. (Social Media)
Updated 07 November 2018
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Ryanair fires six crew members for ‘fake’ photo

  • Six Portugal-based employees decided to lie on the floor at Malaga airport in protest at what they slammed as inadequate accommodation
  • Ryanair is currently engaged in a struggle with European cabin crew members as well as various governments over working conditions

MADRID: Ryanair said Wednesday it had fired six cabin crew who took a photograph of themselves simulating having to sleep on the floor in Spain’s Malaga airport as part of a protest over conditions.
The low-cost carrier said the staff were dismissed for staging “a fake photograph to support a false claim (widely reported in international media outlets) that they were ‘forced to sleep on the floor’ of the Malaga crew room.”
It added this had damaged the airline’s reputation, just as Ryanair is engaged in a struggle with European cabin crew members as well as various governments over working conditions and claims of its disregard for national labor laws.
Unions said that on October 14, as storms raged in southern Spain and Portugal, more than 20 cabin crew had to spend the night at Malaga airport.
They were put in the Ryanair crew room overnight and then moved to a VIP lounge normally used by clients at around six in the morning, both equipped with only chairs or sofas, Spain’s SITCPLA cabin crew union said.
During that time, six Portugal-based employees decided to lie on the floor for the photo in protest at what they slammed as inadequate accommodation.
Ryanair’s chief operations officer Peter Bellew apologized on Twitter, saying that “all hotels were completely booked out in Malaga.”
“Apologies to the crew we could not find accommodation.”
Luciana Passo, head of Portugal’s SNPVAC union, acknowledged it was a protest photo.
“There were 24 cabin crew members in a room with eight chairs,” she said according to local news agency Lusa.
“Some of them decided to show their indignation by lying on the floor as the other chairs were taken, and one person, who wasn’t part of the crew, decided to publish the photo on social media. And they end up fired.”
SITCPLA meanwhile questioned whether it really was impossible to find hotels in a tourist magnet such as Malaga and its surroundings in southern Spain, especially in low season October.
Ryanair has been hit by strikes by cabin crew members for months. This has forced the airline to start recognizing some cabin crew and pilots unions as it looks to avoid further stoppages.


Why ‘Gone With the Wind’ eclipses both ‘Avengers’ and ‘Avatar’

Updated 22 July 2019
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Why ‘Gone With the Wind’ eclipses both ‘Avengers’ and ‘Avatar’

  • The $402 million taken in by “Gone with the Wind” after its 1939 release places it in a paltry 285th position in raw dollar terms
  • That compares to $2.7902 billion for “Avengers: Endgame,” which this weekend just squeaked past the “Avatar” total of $2.7897

NEW YORK: Even as Disney confirmed Sunday that “Avengers: Endgame” had become the top-grossing movie ever, film historians noted that “Gone With the Wind” still has a strong case for being the most successful film of all time.
The $402 million taken in by “Gone with the Wind” after its 1939 release places it in a paltry 285th position in raw dollar terms. But that ignores the huge role of price inflation over time.
The epic historic romance, set during and after the US Civil War, sold the enormous 215 million tickets in the United States, far and away the record in that category, according to the Internet Movie Database. It’s box office was boosted by seven national releases between 1939 and 1974.
“Gone with the Wind” would have sold $1.958 billion worth of tickets today in the US market alone, based on what the National Association of Theatre Owners says was an average US ticket price in 2018 of $9.11.
Worldwide, and with inflation taken into account, the film would have taken in a stunning $3.44 billion, the Guinness Book of World Records has estimated.
That compares to $2.7902 billion for “Avengers: Endgame,” which this weekend just squeaked past the “Avatar” total of $2.7897.
Consider also that the US population in 1939 was a mere 130 million, roughly 200 million less than today.
For some, however, the success of the epic film — it runs three hours and 58 minutes — is troubling.
With a story line based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell, some historians see it as one of the most ambitious and successful examples of Southern revisionism.
Immediately after the Civil War (1861-1865), there was a broad push in the US South to cast the formerly slave-holding region in a softer light.
Those purveying the so-called “Lost Cause” ideology insisted that the Southern states had fought not to preserve slavery, but because the North was infringing on their political independence.
Yet in their declarations of secession from the Union, the Southern states were clear about their primary motive: the Northern states’ refusal to extradite escaped slaves and their “increasing hostility... to the institution of slavery,” as South Carolina’s declaration stated.
“Slavery is not even a critical issue in the movie,” said Kathryn Stockett, author of “The Help,” about black maids in the South in the early 1960s.
“You have these African-Americans that are working for these white families, and it’s as if it’s just their job... something they chose to do,” Stockett says in the documentary “Old South, New South.”
For Randy Sparks, a Tulane University history professor, “Gone With the Wind” exemplifies the way Southerners were able to impose their version of events.
“There aren’t many cases in history,” Sparks said, “where the losers write the history.”
It was thanks to “Gone With the Wind” that in 1940 Hattie McDaniel, who plays Scarlett O’Hara’s faithful slave “Mammy,” won the first Oscar awarded to a black actress.
But racial segregation was still deeply rooted in Hollywood, as in many parts of American society, and on Oscar night McDaniel had to sit at a small table in the rear of the famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub in the Ambassador Hotel, far from the film’s big stars, Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable.
Producer David O. Selznick had to intervene personally to secure her a room in the Ambassador, which refused to admit black customers until 1959.