Social Media is Viciously Ripping Delta Apart After Allegedly Removing Arabic-Speaking Passengers


deltaIn the age of lightning-fact social media updates, it doesn’t take long for something to go viral; and in the case of Adam Salehone of the two men who were allegedly removed from a Delta Air Lines flight this morning after speaking Arabic — his story is quickly gaining traction this morning.

Saleh, a well-known YouTube personality and vlogger, was on board a Delta flight with his pal when the duo was asked to leave, according to Saleh, because they spoke Arabic to one another as well as Saleh’s mother.

Saleh’s tweet has been retweeted nearly 95,000 times this morning alone, and it details the interactions with Delta staff who removed the two men. “It’s Six White People Against Us Bearded Men!” he can be heard saying.

In the last few hours alone, the fierce social media backlash against the airline has been swift. Bassem Youssef was the first big name celebrity to weigh in on Twitter about the incident, calling on Delta directly; the Egyptian comedian called it simply “unacceptable.”

Youssef — widely touted as the “Jon Stewart of Egypt” for his biting comedic criticisms of his own government — was not alone. The hashtag #BoycottDelta has been quickly spreading in the past several hours.

Saleh has continued posting updates to his Twitter account in the aftermath of the incident.

UPDATE 9:13 a.m. EST: In the spirit of transparency, Mediaite has learned further that Saleh has been the creator of several high-profile and popular “pranks” often times involving racial profiling. In 2014 he admitted that a viral video of his called “RACIAL PROFILING EXPERIMENT!” was a fraud after being investigated by The Smoking Gun, which called the effort at the time, “a sham, a staged production aimed to go viral and pile up views.”

We have no reason to believe that any part of the Delta incident is fraudulent in any way at this time or part of a manipulative prank, however. We will continue with updates as we learn of them.

UPDATE 9:24 a.m. EST: Delta has issued 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.”

UPDATE 7:11 p.m. EST: Delta has issued a follow-up statement obtained by Mediaite’s sister site LawNewz finding that Saleh was being disruptive:

Based on the information collected to date, it appears the customers who were removed sought to disrupt the cabin with provocative behavior, including shouting. This type of conduct is not welcome on any Delta flight.

UPDATE 9:37 p.m. EST: Saleh responded in a tweet tonight:

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