Nearly 200,000 people have posted on Twitter using #BoycottDelta after a video surfaced showing two men being removed from a Delta Air Lines flight for reportedly speaking Arabic on the phone and making passengers uncomfortable.
YouTube star Adam Saleh, made famous for his channel’s prank videos, posted a clip on Twitter showing Delta Airlines staff escorting himself and friend Slim Albaher from the plane departing from London-Heathrow.
— Adam Saleh (@omgAdamSaleh) December 21, 2016
“Guys, we spoke a different language on a plane and now we’re getting kicked out,” Saleh said. “You guys are racist. I cannot believe my eyes. I spoke a word, a different language and you feel uncomfortable?”
Saleh makes daily videos on his channel Adam Saleh Vlogs and has accumulated 2.2 million subscribers with prank-style clips.
In an interview with CBS News, Saleh said he was talking to his mom on the phone, who only speaks Arabic.
“When I got off the phone … a lady gave me dirty looks. Me and my friend (Albaher) speak English and Arabic,” Saleh told CBS News. “Once we were speaking Arabic, she turns around and she’s like ‘you need to start speaking English, you’re making me feel uncomfortable’.”
Following the accusations, Delta made the following statement:
“We take all allegations of discrimination seriously and we are gathering all of the facts before jumping to any conclusion. Our culture requires treating everyone with respect. Furthermore, Delta people are trained to and frequently handle conflicts between passengers.
Maintaining a safe, comfortable and orderly onboard environment is paramount for every flight and requires the cooperation of all of our customers in conjunction with adherence to directions from our crew members. This is a Delta policy and is required by U.S. regulations as well as others governing aviation worldwide.
Two customers were removed from Delta flight 1 departing London-Heathrow today after a disturbance in the cabin resulted in more than 20 customers expressing their discomfort.
We have spoken with the customers who were removed; they were rebooked on another flight. Plans are in place to immediately speak with our crew and other passengers when the flight lands this afternoon. We will provide an update once we have more information.”
Surrounding passengers aboard the plane expressed mixed reactions. Some expressed their concern for the treatment of Saleh, while others waved goodbye to the camera.
Though many have joined the #BoycottDelta movement in support of Saleh, others have posted photos of Saleh’s video pranking saying he likes to stir up trouble at airports.
— Ashley Rae (@Communism_Kills) December 21, 2016
What I've learned today:
Freedom of religion only applies to white men and women #boycottdelta
— minAh (@MinahKhan99) December 21, 2016
Arabic is one of the six most-spoken languages in the world. Violating a basic human right isn't justified. Speak up. #BoycottDelta
— Snober Abbasi (@snobers) December 21, 2016
Cause disturbance on plane.
Film aftermath & claim victim status.
Blame white people for "bigotry" you manufactured.#BoycottDelta
— Leah the Boss (@LeahRBoss) December 21, 2016
— . (@sabrinayasminee) December 21, 2016
— S A Y E M A (@sayemaaxo) December 21, 2016
— Ryan Na (@nkw0213) December 21, 2016
REBOOKED ON ANOTHER AIRLINE
Saleh told CBS News he was rebooked on a Virgin America flight back to New York City.
Contact Ashley Casper at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find @TheCasperA on Twitter.