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KLM Drops Inflight Recording By Controversial, Ukrainian-Born Pianist

  • RFE/RL

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has dropped a recording from its inflight playlist by a controversial Ukrainian-born classical pianist.

Valentina Lisitsa has gained notoriety in recent months mainly for her comments on social media in support of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

She has also labeled as "Nazi" the government of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, among other comments deemed offensive.

KLM took the action after receiving complaints from passengers.

In a posting on its website on August 28, the Dutch airline wrote: "KLM gets requests from passengers to alter aspects of its product that they consider to be sensitive, unclear or incorrect. KLM has therefore decided to remove the recordings of the pianist in question from its Inflight Entertainment System."

Lisitsa's controversial comments prompted the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to cancel two of her concerts planned for April.

Canada has over 1 million people claiming Ukrainian ancestry.

Lisitsa, who was born in Kyiv in 1973, emigrated to the United States in 1991. She says her ethnic background is Russian and Polish.

Lisitsa maintains her remarks have been misconstrued and are intended as satire.