“It’s not what was done but how,” the singer wrote.
“To live life as a woman is to live life on the defence,” said Brie Larson, when she opened up about being harassed by airport security in 2017. And, on May 5th, Diana Ross took to Twitter to open up about her own upsetting encounter with a TSA agent.
In a series of tweets, the legendary singer explained how her experience with a TSA agent during a routine security check in New Orleans had left her feeling uncomfortable and upset.
“I was treated like shit,” Ross said. “It’s not what was done but how, I am feeling violated – I still feel her hands between my legs, front and back.”
“WOW!! Really mixed emotions,” she continued. “I always like to see the good things but not feeling good right now.”
In response to the tweet, fans have offered their messages of support, even sharing their own experiences in solidarity with Ross.
“Absolutely horrible,” read one tweet. “In Chicago a TSA agent went on break, after an intense “examination” of my lower region, so she could pull me aside to tell me that she thought my legs were so “strong” and that I must “work out.” So inappropriate.”
“That’s completely unacceptable!!!” began another. “I’m sorry you had to experience that. Thank you for using your voice to bring this to light.”
However, some were quick to claim that Ross was, in fact, overreacting.
“I think the TSA agent was doing their job,” read one response. “It happens in every airport & to everyone.”
Speaking to People, a TSA spokesperson maintained that the officers involved had followed all the necessary guidelines.
“Initial review of CCTV indicates that the officers involved with Ms. Ross’s screening correctly followed all protocols,” the statement reads. “However, TSA leadership will continue to investigate the matter further. We encourage Ms. Ross to reach out to TSA so we can work with her directly to address her concerns.”
This isn’t the first time Ross has complained about her treatment at the hands of airport security staff. In 1999 she was arrested at Heathrow Airport following an altercation with a female staff member, who the singer said had touched her inappropriately.
Whether or not any guidelines were actually broken, Ross’ story raises important questions about how we should expect to be treated by security staff, and when enough really is enough, no matter what the protocols say.