Air New Zealand has become notorious for its hilarious, out-of-the-box safety videos, with actors like Cuba Gooding Jr and Katie Holmes taking part in the clips.
However, the airline is receiving widespread criticism for their recently released “World’s Coolest Safety Video” featuring Entourage star Adrian Grenier.
In an announcement about the new clip, Air NZ described it as: “a breath-taking journey to Antarctica, where Kiwi scientists are tackling the most pressing questions on global climate change.”
The clip aims to “showcase the frozen continent and the important climate and environmental science underway there.”
“Building on Air New Zealand’s long-standing partnership with Antarctica New Zealand and the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute, the video sees Grenier team up with Scott Base scientists to track penguin populations, study ice core samples and visit early explorer Ernest Shackleton’s hut and the vast Dry Valleys,” it added.
There’s one small issue, however, as the clip fails to mention a major plane crash from 1979 where an Air New Zealand flight flew into Antarctica’s Mount Erebus, instantly killing all 257 on board.
In the years following the crash, the airline faced mass criticism as families of the victims claimed it covered up the crash and never properly dealt with the investigation.
Now, being the video is based in Antarctica, families of the victims are feeling pretty insulted.
“For many of us flying with Air New Zealand can be a very difficult reminder of the past and how this changed our lives,” said David Ling, whose mother Alison Ling died in the crash.
“To be on board and confronted by a safety video you’re obliged to watch set in Antarctica is beyond ironic. It is the ultimate insensitive insult to the families, both immediate and wider.”
Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, Ling continued: “How they could possibly think that this is a good idea — mixing some sort of PR story with a safety video, set in the area where they lost so many lives — is beyond us.
Ling added that the idea was “crass, arrogant and disrespectful.”
“In its cruelest moments, even Monty Python couldn’t have scripted such a gross idea as this.”
People have taken to Twitter to express their anger.
Watch Air New Zealand’s “World’s Coolest Safety Video” here: