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Southwest Airlines' 'Porn Plane'

Author Michael Leahy Reacts to "Pornographic" Image on Boeing 737

Contact: Melissa Harman, 312-422-1333, melissa@tcpr.net

MEDIA ADVISORY, Mar. 6 /Christian Newswire/ -- As part of a promotional deal with Sports Illustrated, Southwest Airlines has unveiled a Boeing 737 featuring a plane-sized seductive picture of string bikini-clad supermodel Bar Refaeli. Passengers are responding critically to this plane on Southwest's corporate blog, saying the picture is "soft porn" and offensive to families.

Michael Leahy, author of Porn Nation and the soon-to-be-released Porn University and Porn @ Work, is also critical of this decision by Southwest and of the underlying message it sends.

"I'm disappointed in Southwest Airlines' sexist display of soft-core pornography on its aircraft, as well as Sports Illustrated's continued objectification and sexualization of women," says Leahy. "As a recovering sex addict and a former college athlete, I started losing respect for Sports Illustrated back when they first started publishing their sex-saturated swimsuit edition as an obvious effort to increase sales. I'm sure their tactic has worked handsomely, but sadly, at the expense of every self-respecting woman in America. This isn't art, and it sure has nothing to do with sports, unless they now consider sunbathing a sport."

Some organizations, such as the American Family Association, have distributed newsletters urging all parents to send objection letters directly to Southwest. Leahy, a father and husband, agrees with this call to action.

"I wonder what our children are thinking as they gaze through airport windows at this fine example of yet another major American corporation's lack of integrity and wholesale disrespect of women," Leahy continues. "I hope every person who finds this offensive and finds themselves booked on this airline and certainly this airplane, refuses to board and demands that Southwest re-book them on a competitor's airline at Southwest's expense. Shame on you, Southwest. This isn't edgy. It's insulting."

To speak with Leahy about this story or to find out more about Porn University: What College Students Are Really Saying About Sex on Campus or Porn @ Work: Exposing the Office's #1 Addiction, please contact Melissa Harman at (312) 422-1333 or melissa@tcpr.net. You can also visit www.pornnationthebook.com.

Michael Leahy is a recovering sex addict. He has appeared on numerous national broadcast and print media programs like ABC's 20/20, The View and USA Today as an expert on the sexualization of our culture. Ten years into his own recovery, Michael has shared his compelling story and expertise in churches, at conferences and with over 100,000 students on more than 200 college campuses world-wide. He is also founder and Executive Director of BraveHearts, a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public about the long-term effects of pornography consumption and offer practical solutions for recovery.