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Chemical engineer fired by pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline after racist, homophobic rant on plane

Man mentioned employer GlaxoSmithKline in rant, calling it ‘one of the best f***ing companies in the world’

Eleanor Sly,Gino Spocchia
Monday 05 September 2022 14:19 BST
Related: Woman goes on racist rant at King Cajun Crawfish in Orlando
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The pharmaceutical and biotechnology company GlaxoSmithKline has fired one of their employees who launched into a homophobic and racist rant whilst on an American Airlines flight.

In viral video posted on Reddit and Twitter, the man can be seen walking up and down the plane shouting at other passengers before announcing to the aircraft that he worked as a chemical engineer for GlaxoSmithKline.

The footage was taken by another passenger on a flight from Philadelphia to Dallas and shows the man, who announced that he was “a little intoxicated,” shouting expletives whilst hunting for his bag.

The man became agitated when he was asked to leave the plane as he had acted inappropriately towards the woman in the seat next to him, the person who posted the video told Business Insider.

He can be seen in the video swearing at other passengers and asking a flight attendant if he would be kicked off the plane because he was racist.

He complained about “all these f**kers before asking a Black female member of cabin crew: “What do you want, what do you want?”

She responded: “For you to grab your bag sir so you can off this plane”, before pleading with the man politely as he swore at fellow passengers and searched for his cabin bag.

“It’s a black f****** bag,” he said.

“Obviously ‘cause I’m a white man I’m gonna pick the black bag because I’m racist. You’re kicking me off the f***** plane because I’m racist. I didn’t do anything”.

Cabin crew continued help searching for the man’s bag, which he said was a “Swedish make” and “a better bag than most of ya’ll can afford.”

The man went on to say that he was a chemical engineer for GlaxoSmithKline, calling it “one of the best f***ing companies in the world,” also mentioning that he was planning to leave the company.

The passenger who shared the footage to Reddit added in a caption that he missed the man’s “copious usage of the N-word towards the flight attendants” before he began filming and that despite the situation, cabin crew handled it “phenomenally well”.

“Drunk racist and homophobic man got kicked off my flight last night from Philadelphia to Dallas for being inappropriate towards the woman in the seat next to him,” the post said. “Spectacular meltdown as he is escorted off the plane.”

GlaxoSmithKline tweeted about the incident, calling the behaviour “reprehensible” and saying it did not reflict the culture at the company.

They wrote: "On Wednesday, GSK was notified of an incident involving an employee on a flight to Dallas.

“We immediately conducted an investigation and as of Thursday, he is no longer employed at GSK. The person’s behavior was reprehensible and does not reflect our company culture."

In a statement to The Independent, the company added: “At GSK, diversity, equity and inclusion is embraced and celebrated and we are committed in policy, principle and practice to maintaining an environment which prohibits discriminatory behaviour and provides equal opportunity for all persons.”

The Independent has contacted American Airlines for comment.

Figures from the Federal Aviation Authority show that there have been 1,876 reports of unruly passengers on US flights this year, of which 650 have been investigated. That follows a record high for incidents in 2021, when 1,099 separate incidents were investigated by the authority.

Also in the US, last week a Southwest Airlines pilot told passengers he would be forced to turn the plane around if someone on board did not stop sending nude photographs to them via AirDrop technology.

A video showed the captain telling passengers he would “have to pull back into the gate” if the behaviour didn’t stop.

Meanwhile, in Europe a British man is currently being held in a jail in Crete after a plane was forced to make an emergency landing because of his drunken behaviour.

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