YouTube star Adam Saleh has accused Delta Airlines of kicking him off a flight because he spoke Arabic to his mother on the phone.
Speaking to CBS, Saleh said when he was talking to his mom, a woman seated in front of him told him he should speak English. When he insisted he was free to speak the language of his choice, he says her husband began yelling at him. Twenty other people allegedly said they were uncomfortable with Saleh and his friend.
“When the captain came, he was telling me and my friend he wanted to speak to us outside,” he said. “At that moment, I knew I was being kicked out.”
In a video he posted on Twitter Wednesday, Saleh can be seen explaining that he was being kicked off the plane for speaking Arabic to his mother. Others can be heard yelling, “Bye!” as agents try to escort him off the plane, with only one other passenger rushing to his defense.
— Adam Saleh (@omgAdamSaleh) December 21, 2016
“Delta wouldn’t re-book me, I’m with Virgin Airlines right now and heading to New York City,” Saleh said on CBS. “It seriously made me cry. I travel a lot, and I never in a million years knew I would experience something like this. I speak to my mom every flight I go on, right before I leave, and my mom only speaks Arabic.”
He also said that many passengers on the plane were referencing the Monday attack on a Berlin Christmas market, where a truck plowed into market-goers and killed at least 12.
“They all agreed with what the three people said,” Saleh added about the people complaining on the plane. “‘I do not feel comfortable with these guys on the plane.'”
To CBS, Saleh also said that the passengers wanted another guy with a beard off the plane as well although he was not associated with Saleh.
“They made us think like we just did the most horrific thing ever,” Saleh said. “What they did was wrong … Once I arrive, I am going to meet up with my lawyer and it’s going to move on further from there, I’ll see what I can do. I don’t want anyone going through this, because they made me feel like I’m the worst person ever right now.”
In a statement, Delta said: “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 response, #BoycottDelta was trending on Twitter on Wednesday.
the fact them people on the plane were cheering and waving 'bye' disgusted me. this makes me lose faith in all humanity. #boycottdelta
— Benny (@Beno_ldn) December 21, 2016
— Satirical Alexandria (@SatirclAlx) December 21, 2016
— bevysmith (@bevysmith) December 21, 2016
Saleh has more than 1.6 million subscribers to his YouTube channel TrueStoryASA, and more than 2.2 million subscribers to his Adam Saleh Vlogs YouTube channel.
The YouTube star has a history of posting prank videos that are designed to look real. In October, it was revealed that his viral video of a NYPD officer stopping and frisking a pair of Muslim men for wearing Islamic garments was a sham. And just last week, Saleh was called out for posting a fake video in which he allegedly sneaked onto a flight in a suitcase. The airline was quick to deem the video a hoax using authentic security footage.
Watch the CBS report above.