Popular YouTube prank star and vlogger Adam Saleh, who counts roughly four million subscribers across his two channels, said earlier today that he was kicked off of a Delta flight for speaking Arabic. Saleh captured the aftermath of the incident on video, which subsequently went viral on Twitter and has been retweeted hundreds of thousands of times.
In the video (below), several passengers cheer Saleh’s departure as attendants escort him off the flight, while others rise to defend him. “I cannot believe my eyes. I spoke a different language and you feel uncomfortable?” he asks in the video. “Are you serious? I’m about to cry right now.” Saleh also livestreamed the incident on Periscope, which garnered hundreds of thousands of views.
— Adam Saleh (@omgAdamSaleh) December 21, 2016
After being escorted off the plane, Saleh said that he spoke to police, was asked to go through security once again, and then boarded another flight on a different airline from London to New York that’s slated to land later this evening — whereupon he intends to head straight to his lawyer’s office. Though Saleh’s videos frequently consist of pranks and social experiments, some of which have involved airlines, his management company told NBC in an email, “I can assure you that this was not a prank.”
For its part, Delta said it was investigating the incident, and claimed that 20 customers had reported feeling uncomfortable as a result of the behavior of Saleh and his friend. “We’re conducting a full review to understand what transpired,” Delta said a statement. “We are taking allegations of discrimination very seriously; our culture requires treating others with respect.”
Delta faced a similar controversy late last month when it banned a passenger for life after he was caught on video screaming at fellow passengers about the election, referring to some as “Hillary bitches.” He was ultimately allowed to remain on his flight.