Muslim American social media star Adam Saleh, who posted a video of himself being kicked off a Delta flight allegedly for speaking to his mother in Arabic on the phone has a history of making hoax videos staging anti-Muslim discrimination, exposed a Youtuber.
Saleh’s video of the incident went viral on Wednesday, along with his claim that he was kicked out “because I spoke Arabic to my mom on the phone.” Shortly afterwards, however, others pointed out that Saleh had a history of making videos about fake anti-Muslim racial profiling incidents and prank videos about planes in particular.
Delta on Wednesday also cleared the air regarding the allegations against its Flight 1. In an online statement on its official website, Delta said, “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 behaviour, 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.”
— Ashley Rae (@Communism_Kills) December 21, 2016
Veteran journalist and former CNN host Soledad O’Brien also took to Twitter and revealed that she actually knew someone who was on the flight, who provided her with some background.
O’Brien’s source told her that the Delta flight attendants were made aware that Saleh was a YouTube prankster.
A LOT still unclear. But apparently woman sitting near my friend tipped off flight attendants he was a youtube star known for pranks.
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) December 21, 2016
O’Brien also said that those aboard the flight were disputing the claim that he made a phone call to his mother, as Saleh claims in the video.
@soledadobrien Disputing that he made the call at all? Or that it was to his mother?
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) December 21, 2016
That YouTube celebrity kicked off the Delta flight was caught in a viral hoax with a different airline last week. https://t.co/Vc0A1LFtlv
— Jimmy (@JimmyPrinceton) December 21, 2016
Real talk: Adam Saleh is obnoxious and I wouldn't be surprised if it is a prank BUT that doesn't discount this happening on the daily.
— Sailor Mer(Kaye)ry (@gildedspine) December 21, 2016
If Adam Saleh was on a plane pranking just hours after a terrorist attack in Berlin, he deserved to be kicked off.
— Rasha Al Aqeedi (@RashaAlAqeedi) December 21, 2016
This was the same Adam Saleh who was busted in 2014 over a hoax Islamophobia video in NYC.
Back in 2014, Adam Saleh had created a video called “RACIAL PROFILING EXPERIMENT!” that quickly gained two million views on YouTube. In it, Saleh purported to get in a fight with a friend in front of a police officer in Western-style clothing, and then reenacted the same fight dressed in traditional Muslim garb. Police supposedly only intervened when the men looked like Muslims.
Huffington Post reported that Adam Saleh and Sheikh Akbar had admitted that their viral video purporting to show Islamophobia on New York’s streets was in fact staged.
“This video is a dramatisation of previous events that occurred with us in our tradition clothing while filming in NYC,” they wrote in an updated description of their video. “This video is not against the NYPD, it’s just an example of what we have to go through sometimes when filming in NYC. This is to raise awareness for Racial Profiling.”