Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

News

Olivia Wilde slams Delta after airline boots passengers who spoke Arabic

Updated

Robert Alexander/Getty Images; Noam Galai/Getty Images (inset)

Olivia Wilde is among a number of people angry at Delta Airlines after two passengers were booted off a flight for speaking Arabic.

According to Adam Saleh — a YouTube star known for his pranks, including staging a stop-and-frisk — he and his friend were being kicked off a plane at Heathrow Airport in London because Saleh spoke Arabic in a conversation with his mother. Saleh said the plane’s white passengers complained it made them uncomfortable.

“We’re getting kicked out because we spoke a different language,” Saleh said in the video. “This is 2016.”

The video spread like wildfire across the early morning internet. After an initial statement by Delta — “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 airline said in part, adding it takes allegations of discrimination “very seriously” — the company released another statement Wednesday night following questioning of the flight crew and some passengers. “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,” Delta said. “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.”

This first statement wasn’t quite enough to quell the outrage sparked by the video, however. Wilde, for one, declared that she would not be flying Delta again.

“Fellow Americans, we are not defined by our narrow-minded president-elect,” Wilde tweeted. “If you witness discrimination, stand up and demand justice.”

Musician Moby also weighed in, threatening to “#boycottdelta”: