UPDATE 9:16 p.m. ET:
Delta released another statement Wednesday night clarifying that the passengers were removed for "disruptive behavior": "Upon landing the crew was debriefed and multiple passenger statements collected. 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. 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."
Adam Saleh also released a statement thanking people for their support and saying that despite being written off as a "prankster," the Delta incident was "real."
Thank you for all your support pic.twitter.com/ukQ4EGVQ6r— Adam Saleh (@omgAdamSaleh) December 22, 2016
See original story below.
Delta Airlines' issues with discrimination have been making headlines semi-frequently in recent months. They've discriminated against Muslims. They refused to let a black woman help during a medical emergency because they refused to believe she actually was a doctor. They literally dragged another black woman out of another plane because she displayed "huge attitude." But if you go on a pro-Trump rant against "Hillary bitches" and you happen to be a white man, you'll likely be allowed to stay on the plane through your flight.
This morning, it would seem yet another example of Delta's affinity for discrimination has entered public discourse. Adam Saleh, a 23-year-old vlogger with millions of followers on his YouTube accounts, claims that he and another passenger, Slim Albaher, were kicked off his Delta flight "for speaking Arabic to my mom on a plane."
Delta is reportedly investigating the incident after the video gained widespread criticism, however some commenters have pointed out that Saleh has a history of publicity stunts and hoaxes (as we explain in more depth below).
Saleh posted a video of the incident—which has been retweeted nearly 250,000 times and counting—on Twitter this morning:
"I can not believe my eyes. I can not believe it," Saleh says in the video. "We spoke a different language on a plane, and now we're getting kicked out."
Other passengers on the plane can be seen and heard waving and saying "See ya!" during the video. But others came to Saleh's defense. "That's insane," one passenger said of their removal. Saleh added, "This is 2016. 2016."
Saleh also said in the video, "I spoke a word — a different language — and you feel uncomfortable." Visibly frustrated, Saleh added, "I’m about to cry right now. Seriously."
More angry passengers can be seen waving and shouting "BYE!" as Saleh and his friend were escorted out of the plane.
"It's six white people against us bearded men," Saleh said at another point.
Saleh has since boarded another plane, and reportedly plans to talk to his lawyer.
With that said, the video doesn't include the full context of the incident.
In a statement, Delta wrote, "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." The company added, "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."
Furthermore, it appears that Saleh has a history of doing publicity stunts on planes:
And he's been exposed for faking many of his video stunts before. For example, according to the Daily Dot, his "Racial Profiling Experiment" video in 2014 allegedly showed police harassing him and his friend. But the video turned out to be fake, angering both police and the Muslim community. Just this month, Saleh posted a video titled, "I Smuggled Myself On A Plane to Another City and IT WORKED!!! (IN A SUITCASE)." The video was later busted as fake:
Nonetheless, Delta does have a long and troubling history of discrimination:
Saleh and Albaher are encouraging others to boycott the company:
And many are on board:
We'll update this post as more information becomes available.