WARNING: The following video contains extreme language that some might find offensive.
Adam Saleh, a Youtube star with over 2.2 million subscribers, shot video of himself being escorted off of a Delta flight, and said he was kicked off only because he started speaking Arabic while on a phone call to his mother onboard. #boycottdelta began to trend on Twitter shortly after the star published the video, which was retweeted more than 155,000 times in three hours.
However, as the day went on many believe the tirade may have been a hoax. Mediaite reported that Saleh has a “a history of creating hoax videos purporting to detail anti-Muslim discrimination.”
Meanwhile, former CNN host Soledad O’ Brien tweeted that she knew someone on the flight, and that the call to Saleh’s mother was being disputed by other passengers:
In the video below, an NYPD officer can be seen stopping to frisk a pair of Muslim men, one of which is Saleh, for what appears to be nothing more than wearing traditional Islamic clothing:
The Smoking Gun later called the video out as a hoax, stating:
An NYPD source who last night viewed the clip at TSG’s request said that an officer from the local police precinct (the 110th in nearby Elmhurst) would not be standing patrol by himself on a deserted street in the middle of the day. As for the purported officer’s frisking technique, the NYPD veteran laughed, ‘That’s not how they teach you in the academy.’ He also remarked that it was “inconceivable” that an officer would ask a Muslim man, ‘Why are you dressed like this?’
The publication also cited a retired NYPD detective who called the video an “obvious hoax intended to smear police.”
Only after The Smoking Gun called the video out did Saleh add a disclosure to the video, according to Mediaite: “This video is a Dramatization of previous events that occurred with us in our tradition clothing while filming in NYC.”
However, the disclosure has since been removed and people still believe it to be legitimate.
Delta released the following statement defending their actions and denying Saleh’s accusations:
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.
The story comes just weeks after Yasmin Seweid was accused of lying about being called a terrorist by drunk men on a NYC subway for being a Muslim in hijab. Her Facebook post that went viral is no longer available, though as the New York Daily News put it, Seweid said she “was harassed on the subway by drunken, hate-spewing white men shouting ‘Donald Trump!’”
Police sources told the New York Daily News that “Seweid made up the story because she didn’t want to get in trouble for breaking her curfew” and added that “her parents then allegedly shaved Seweid’s head because of the incident, sources say.” The news site said Seweid was charged with filing a false report.
Read more on the story below:
“Guys, we spoke a different language on the plane and now we’re being kicked out,” Saleh told passengers aboard the plane. “You guys are racist, I cannot believe my eyes, You felt uncomfortable because we spoke a different language…six white people against us bearded men?”
While one man is vehemently defending Saleh as he videotapes the saga, others can be heard yelling “bye.”
Saleh’s social media accounts state that he was traveling from Australia to New York City. He later tweeted that he was checked by security again, but was able to board another flight with a different airline, and said he would still make it to the city:
Twitter users later called Saleh out on the video as a prankster: