Randi Zuckerberg says she was subjected to “lewd sexual remarks” by a man seated next to her on an Alaska Airlines flight — and that flight attendants were aware of a pattern of inappropriate conduct by the man, but “brushed off his behavior.”
Zuckerberg — a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg — took to social media Wednesday to share the email she sent to the airline following her flight.
Alaska Airlines responded to the email via Twitter, said the allegations were “very disturbing,” and that it was investigating.
The email outlines sexual remarks the man, who was seated next to her in first class, allegedly made — including ratings of women’s bodies on board the flight, comments about touching himself, and complaints that “Millennial women just aren’t willing to give some booty to get a job anymore.”
Zuckerberg said she explained her discomfort about the man’s behavior to a flight attendant.
“The flight attendants told me he was a frequent flier, brushed off his behavior, & kept giving him drinks,” she tweeted.
Zuckerberg said the flight attendants offered to move her to a middle seat in the back of the plane, but she said she refused because she didn’t feel she should have to give up her seat when she was the one being harassed.
Zuckerberg said she also learned that the comments were not unusual and that the flight attendants had previous conversations with the male passenger about his behavior. She said they told her “don’t take it personally, this guy just doesn’t have a filter.” According to Zuckerberg, the man continued to make sexual comments throughout the flight.
Zuckerberg said in her email to the airline that she was “furious with Alaska Airlines for knowingly and willingly providing this man with a platform to harass women.”
Alaska Airlines tweeted that it has launched an investigation and has “revoked this passenger’s travel privileges pending the outcome of that investigation.”
Bobbie Egan, a spokeswoman for Alaska Airlines, said the company has “zero tolerance for any type of sexual misconduct that creates an unsafe environment for our guests and crew members.”
Zuckerberg, who worked at Facebook as director of marketing before leaving in 2011 to work on her own ventures, said on Twitter that she felt compelled to tell her story, despite her embarrassment, to highlight this behavior on behalf of other victims who did not have the same platform to be heard.