YouTube star Adam Saleh was removed from a Delta flight from London to New York, in an incident whose veracity has since been called into question.
Rap star French Montana has declared that he’ll be boycotting Delta Air Lines following the headline-grabbing incident in which two Muslim YouTube stars were kicked off a flight to New York after one of them spoke in Arabic on the plane.
Adam Saleh, who has two million subscribers to his account, claims that he and his travelling companions were removed from the plane setting off from London, after some passengers complained when they overheard him speaking a word of Arabic to his mother during a phone conversation just before take-off.
French Montana has declared he's boycotting Delta Airlines in the wake of the incident
“Guys, we spoke a different language on the plane and now we’re getting kicked out,” said Saleh said to his phone camera in a video he tweeted shortly after the incident on Wednesday (December 21st). “This is 2016. 2016. Look, Delta Air Lines are kicking us out because we spoke a different language. You guys are racist. I cannot believe my eyes.”
The video very quickly went viral, and has been commented on by millions, despite contradicting accounts of the incident coming from fellow passengers and Delta Air Lines itself.
Montana, a 32 year rapper who scored a Top Five album in the US in 2013 and who has released several popular mixtapes in addition, waded in to the debate a few hours later, announcing that he would no longer use Delta because of racial profiling.
“I don't like speaking on things like this, but this struck a nerve,” he captioned the video as he re-posted it to his Instagram. “I have a mother that doesn't speak English and discrimination like this makes me really sad. The fact that this can happen to her makes me sick. I'm not using Delta anymore.”
The veracity of the incident has since been called into question by some quarters of the internet, in the light of Saleh’s reputation for pulling pranks at airports in the past.
Delta Air Lines’ most recent statement to date, on Wednesday evening, defended their actions in removing them. “Upon landing the crew was debriefed and multiple passenger statements collected,” the statement read. “Based on the information collected to date, it appears the customers who were removed sought to disrupt the cabin with provocative behaviour, including shouting.”
“This type of conduct is not welcome on any Delta flight. While one, according to media reports, is a known prankster who was video recorded and encouraged by his traveling companion, what is paramount to Delta is the safety and comfort of our passengers and employees. It is clear these individuals sought to violate that priority.”