Controversy has swirled in the wake of popular YouTuber Adam Saleh’s claim that he was booted off of a Delta flight yesterday for speaking in Arabic. Given Saleh’s past pranks and social experiments, several of which have sought to address Islamophobia in the realm of air travel, many observers speculated that the incident could have also been a stunt.
Even Delta seemed to be standing by its decision to kick Saleh and his friend and fellow YouTuber, Slim Albaher, off of the plane, saying in a statement yesterday that “it appears the customers who were removed sought to disrupt the cabin with provocative behavior, including shouting.” Delta also noted in its statement that Saleh “is a known prankster who was video recorded and encouraged by his traveling companion.”
But in a new vlog, Saleh and Albaher are sticking to their story, describing an argument that began with a fellow passenger who asked the duo to stop speaking in Arabic. While others stood up to support Saleh and Albaher, they say, a majority rose to demand their removal from the flight. “People keep using the fact that we’re pranksters against us — they keep trying to use our pasts against us,” Albaher says. “I feel like this is The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Albaher adds that he was the one who initially precipitated the argument and that Saleh only jumped in to defend him.
Check out their full account of the incident — including Saleh’s allegation that even certain Delta employees and U.K. police officers encouraged him to expose the airline’s discriminatory practices — right here:
Reaction by fellow YouTube creators seemed to be hotly divided. The host of the DramaAlert channel, Daniel Keem, for instance, asserts that Saleh faked the incident and also uncovered several old videos that would seem to suggest that such a prank might be in line with prior content. Meanwhile, noted vlogger Yousef ‘FouseyTube’ Erakat said that he had been in contact with Saleh and offered his support.
Check out the variety of responses right here:
I don’t trust Adam Saleh pic.twitter.com/7AjW7Uz3Wd
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) December 21, 2016
i’ve texted & been on the phone with @omgAdamSaleh today. just because i don’t tweet about it doesn’t mean i’m not involved with support. ❤
— Yousef Saleh Erakat (@fouseyTUBE) December 22, 2016
PS. I’ll be flying only Delta this holiday season. pic.twitter.com/OKTkZ2Q7jE
— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) December 22, 2016
Ayo @omgAdamSaleh be very careful what you are doing. You are playing with fire. This a multi billion dollar company you are poking.
— Jesse (@Jessewelle) December 21, 2016