Comedian Jess Hilarious is under scrutiny after four bearded Muslim men were reportedly made to leave a flight she had boarded because “Jess claimed that the men made her ‘nervous’ because of their appearance,” reports MTO News.
The 27-year-old comedian’s real last name is Moore, and she is from Baltimore, Maryland.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jess Caused the Stir by Using Social Media
Jess has 4.4m Instagram followers and 25k Twitter followers. After she Tweeted she was nervous, her flight was evacuated.
“N****s know I’m never f***ing racist, but I spotted something and I put it out earlier and we just got evacuated from our plane,” Moore said in the Instagram story. “F*** y’all, if I’m scared, I’m scared… y’all mad at me because I don’t side with every other black person,” reports Newsweek.
Jess apologized on social media and then deleted her apology. The ordeal comes on the wake of a terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand where Muslims were targeted leaving 50 dead and at least 40 injured. This timing was not lost on social media users.
2. Jess has a History of Social Media Dramas
The comedian reportedly cut ties with Kountry Wayne after Wayne’s estranged wife posted a photo on social media of him at home. The photo was taken on Jess’ birthday. Jess gave a recent interview discussing her love life, but Instagram users are using the video to comment on the flight incident.
“King Kountry Wayne, as he is known online, resides and runs two successful businesses in South Georgia,” according to his website. Wayne is also a comedian.
In yet another social media controversy, Jess was the target of criticism for “a controversial nude photo shoot with her then 5-year-old son, Ashton,” reports Rolling Out.
3. Sikhism is Different Than Islam
In a now-deleted Instagram story after the incident, Jess asked followers to educate her as to the various forms of Islam. Sikhs are often confused with Muslims, but the religions are distinct.
“Sikhs wear a peaked head turban, called a dastar, that at first glance can look like the kind of turbans wore by some Muslim elders or Afghani Muslims,” reports ThoughtCo.
Instagram users responded mostly in disappointment with Jess. @rnlovejones wrote, “So disappointed in how you treated those Sikh Brothers, had to unfollow you, I hope you atone for your ignorant and foolish behavior, there’s enough hate in the world, shame all you did was add to it. Just know Karma is still a spiritual law.”
4. Jess Apologized, Claimed Ignorance, Deleted
The arch of Jess’ explanation, apology, delete, and second explanation, or justification left enough fodder for social media followers to show support, unfollow, judge, and otherwise comment.
Some comedians have opined political correctness is killing comedy in reference to on-stage performances. The instance of Jess’ Tweet, however, had a real-world consequence:
“In a since-deleted social media post, Jess posted about four Sikh men on her flight who she says were later removed from the plane. She had said the entire flight was ‘evacuated’ and when she returned, the men were nowhere to be found,” reports The Blast.
5. The Comedian is Currently Touring the Country
Jess is the star of “Rel”. She has appeared on VH1, BET, and other networks, though Instagram is a primary platform for her sketch comedy. She is currently on her Winter 2019 “Jess with the Mess” tour appearing next in Omaha, Nebraska. She also sells hair weaves and merch on her website.
On her Instagram account, she has rejected statements that she is racist or Islamophobic. Instagram user @brandonbucketss commented: ??♂️??♂️??♂️??♂️??♂️??♂️??♂️
After her flight was evacuated, she reportedly created a now-deleted Instagram story stating she had Muslims in her family but did not know about the different types of Muslims.
“In a follow-up tweet, she reported that Homeland security came onboard and removed the men from the flight right before takeoff. It’s still unclear why the men were removed and what transpired after they were escorted off the plane,” reports The Grio.