The UK’s Royal Air Force has apologized for a message in which it requested a “preferably not white male” pilot to represent the organisation at a press event for the Tom Cruise movie ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ on Wednesday.
“Do any of you have a ‘Pilot, who is preferably not white male’ who would like to be the [Royal Air Force] face at a press event for the release of Top Gun 2”? the RAF’s communications team inquired in an email regarding an upcoming press event, as reported by the Express on Wednesday.
“Shy guys get no cakes so shout quick as offer also gone out to other units,” the bizarre message continued, asking those intrigued to respond with their “expressions of interest.”
The language referencing race and gender “should not have been used,” the force acknowledged when the message came to light, apologizing for “any offense caused.”
“This language should not have been used and we apologize for any offense caused,” a Ministry of Defense spokesperson said in response to the leak. “We are determined to encourage more people, no matter their sex or race, into the RAF.”
The director of the Bruges Group think tank, Robert Oulds, slammed the leaked email, telling the Express the attitude it displayed is “divisive and dangerous” and suggesting instead “the Armed Forces should be a band united to serve Queen and country. This seeks to segregate people and mark people out, not on the basis of their ability, but on the color of their skin.”
This is wrong and embarrassing. We need to stand firm and together.
The Top Gun sequel is due in theaters on May 27 after a two-year delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It features Tom Cruise, now 59, reprising his iconic role as Lt. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell. The original 1986 film grossed a whopping $356 million.