Adam Saleh: YouTube star 'wasn't speaking Arabic on phone when kicked off Delta flight', passenger claims

Prank video producer says he is serious about the incident

Jon Sharman
Thursday 22 December 2016 13:01
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Adam Saleh gets kicked off Delta flight

A passenger on the Delta Airlines flight from which YouTube star Adam Saleh was ejected on Wednesday has come forward to claim the prankster was not on the phone to his mother when he was removed.

In fact, the supposed passenger said in a Reddit post, Mr Saleh had goaded a friend into shouting in Arabic across the plane and filmed fellow passengers' reactions, before being told to be quiet. The claim tallies with a statement released by the airline.

Redditor Chain187 posted an image of what appeared to be a boarding pass for a 21 December flight from Heathrow to New York alongside his claim.

They said: "I was sat two seats away from them [sic] internet prankster and his friend. Neither of them was on any phone call I could hear them talking in plain American English.

"The YouTube guy was trying to get his friend to shout something in Arabic which he did a total of 4 times.

"He shouted it across the plane and the first two times I thought he was shouting maybe a friend or something. A couple of passengers after the second time said they were making themselves and their young children uncomfortable and could they shut up.

"They told her to shut up and then he shouted it again.

"They were filming people's reactions on their phones, I assume for some comedy YouTube video but they were made to delete it."

Delta said in a statement: "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 travelling 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."

Mr Saleh released a statement upon returning home to New York City. He said: "Delta has been called out previously for racial matters. What they did was wrong and we deserve to speak up about this and not let this happen again.

"Yes, we're pranksters, and it sounds like ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’, but today you can clearly see it’s as real as it gets."

Mr Saleh has previously sparked criticism for apparently staged videos. In one now-infamous prank, he depicted a scene where a New York police officer appeared to racially profile him and a friend.

The Smoking Gun debunked the 2014 video.

Mr Saleh's pranks channel has some 1.6 million subscribers. His videos include "PULLING HIJAB OFF EXPERIMENT!", viewed nearly six million times, and "FAKE GUNSHOT PRANK!", with 4.3 million views.

Chain187 added in his post: "For the record of anyone who thinks I have some racist or prejudicial motivation to say this, first of all that's a sad way of thinking.

"Secondly I am mixed race of Jamaican/British descent so I have [experienced] more than my fair share.

"I have been the best man at two Arabic weddings, sad I need this disclaimer but it is what it is."

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