Flight Attendants Seek to Ground Jodie Movie

09/29/2005 AT 09:00 AM EDT

Jodie Foster's new movie Flightplan – which was No. 1 at the box office last weekend – has landed with a thud when it comes to labor unions representing most of the nation's 90,000 flight attendants.

(SPOILER ALERT: Major plot twist below.)

The groups have urged their members to boycott the thriller because it portrays a flight attendant and a U.S. air marshal as terrorists, reports Reuters.

They said that casting cabin crew members as villains in Flightplan was irresponsible in light of heightened security concerns since the 9/11 attacks.

A union statement also complained that other flight attendants in the film are shown as being "rude, unhelpful and uncaring."

"This depiction of flight attendants is an outrage," said Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) International President Patricia Friend. "Flight attendants continue to be the first line of defense on an aircraft and put their lives on the line day after day for the safety of passengers."

Washington-based AFA spokeswoman Corey Caldwell tells Reuters that the unions are concerned that moviegoers will take away impressions that will make it more difficult for flight attendants to "earn the trust and respect of passengers." As it is, says Caldwell, Hollywood has long stereotyped flight attendants as oversexed bubbleheads or as harsh, humorless disciplinarians.

A Disney spokesman said that in making Flightplan, which grossed nearly $25 million last weekend, "there was absolutely no intention on the part of the studio or filmmakers to create anything but a great action thriller."

"We are confident the public will be able to discern the difference between fiction and the incredible job real-life flight attendants do on a daily basis," the spokesman said.

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