A video (below) purporting to show two men being kicked off a Delta Airlines flight for speaking Arabic went viral on Dec. 21, but questions about one of the men and the incident have been raised.
Adam Saleh posted the video on Twitter with this caption: "We got kicked out of a @Delta airplane because I spoke Arabic to my mom on the phone and with my friend slim... WTFFFFFFFF please spread."
In the video, Saleh announces their situation to the camera and the other passengers:
Guys, we spoke a different language on the plane, and now we're getting kicked out. Now, we're getting kicked out. We're getting kicked out because we spoke a different language. This is 2016! 2016! Look, Delta Airlines are kicked us out because we spoke a different language.
Some of the passengers tell him, "Goodbye!"
Saleh then directs his comments to an unidentified passenger:
I cannot believe my eyes. I cannot believe it. I spoke a word, a different language, and you said you feel uncomfortable because I spoke a different language? I can't believe it. I can't believe my eyes ... I’m about to cry right now, seriously, because we said a word in a different language? It’s six white people against us bearded men.
At this point, a security guard appears on the plane, and other passengers began speaking up for Saleh and his friend.
However, former CNN host Soledad O'Brien tweeted her suspicions about the incident, notes Mediaite.com:
"Soooo. I have a good friend on this flight right now. Getting additional details on how this went down. Standby."
"A LOT still unclear. But apparently woman sitting near my friend tipped off flight attendants he was a youtube star known for pranks."
"Also people on plane disputing call to mom."
Twitter user Ashley Rae posted screenshots of what appears to be Saleh doing other pranks on planes with this caption: "This is the guy who you guys think actually got kicked off a plane for speaking Arabic."
In 2014, Saleh created a video that claimed to show anti-Muslim profiling by the NYPD, but Saleh added a "dramatization" disclaimer after The Smoking Gun (TSG) reported the video as a hoax:
[T]he videographers copped to their perfidy (albeit sneakily) after TSG exposed their hoax this morning. They edited the video’s YouTube description to report that the clip was a "Dramatization of previous events that occurred with us in our tradition clothing while filming in NYC. This video is not against the NYPD."
The video’s original description claimed that Saleh and Akbar were prompted to expose the NYPD after "we kept getting followed by Police. So we decided to film this social experiment on racial profiling." The duo added that, "Too many innocent people get stopped and frisked" daily due to their clothing and skin color.