Celebrities are speaking out after United Airlines wouldn’t let two girls board a plane because they were wearing leggings.
Shannon Watts, the founder of the Moms Demand Action campaign against gun violence, tweeted on Sunday that a United gate agent turned the girls — one of whom was as young as 10 years old — away from the flight. Watts tweeted that the girls’ father, who was wearing shorts, was allowed to board. United responded on Twitter that it “shall have the right to refuse passengers who are not properly clothed via our Contract of Carriage.”
The situation prompted criticism that the policy was sexist and outdated — including from celebrities like Sarah Silverman, Chrissy Teigen and Patricia Arquette, who recently joined forces with the United Nations to fight for equal pay.
The airline later clarified that the two girls were “pass riders,” meaning that they were related to employees of the company and thus had to adhere to the company’s dress code — a rule that doesn’t apply to other passengers. “Like most companies, we have a dress code that we ask employees and pass riders to follow,” the airline said in a statement. “To our regular customers, your leggings are welcome.“