A YouTube prankster who has posted hoax videos falsely claiming to depict racial profiling by the New York Police Department and person smuggling on an airliner posted a video on Wednesday accusing Delta Airlines of kicking him off of a plane for speaking Arabic. The new video has garnered enormous amounts of attention, having been retweeted and liked on Twitter more than 375,000 times within four hours and sparking the trending hashtag #boycottDelta.
In it, Adam Saleh says “we spoke a different language on the plane and now we’re getting kicked out.”
“Delta Airlines are kicking us out because we spoke a different language,” he continues, before saying other passengers had complained about him for speaking another language.
Delta responded with the following statement:
Two customers were removed from this flight and later rebooked after a disturbance in the cabin resulted in more than 20 customers expressing their discomfort. We’re conducting a full review to understand what transpired. We are taking allegations of discrimination very seriously; our culture requires treating others with respect.
In a subsequent video posted on Periscope, Saleh appears to be crying after saying that he was speaking to his mom on the phone in Arabic when his fellow passengers complained and he was kicked off.
“The freaking racist pieces of shit kicked us out,” he said. “They know who they are. I got them all on tape, too. I’m not going to let them slide, I swear on my mother’s life, I’m not going to let them slide.”
Saleh later reported on Twitter that he was eventually allowed on a flight to New York City, and said that he would be contacting his lawyer when he landed. He tweeted this before takeoff.
In the Periscope video, a woman at the airport who sounds like an airlines representative asks Saleh “what actually happened.” He tells her the story about speaking Arabic on the phone with his mother and then adds “Slim, my friend, he speaks kind of loud.”
Saleh has 1.6 million subscribers to one of his YouTube channels and 2.2 million subscribers to another.
Last week, Saleh posted a video that has been watched more than 700,000 times purporting to show him smuggling himself in a suitcase into the cargo hold of a flight from Melbourne to Sydney. The video was a hoax.
In 2014, he posted a video that has since been viewed nearly 2 million times purporting show a New York police officer racially profiling him and a friend for wearing traditional Islamic garb.
He later acknowledged that the video was a “dramatization of previous events that occurred with us in our tradition clothing while filming in NYC.”