YouTubers Adam Saleh and Slim Albaher are using a pair of new videos to double down on their insistence that an incident on a Delta flight, wherein they say they were kicked off the plane for speaking Arabic, was not a prank. In a clip that went viral on Wednesday, Saleh and Albaher can be seen being escorted off a flight, while Saleh tells nearby passengers that it is because other passengers heard them speaking Arabic and complained. Saleh tweeted the video with the hashtag #BoycottDelta. The ensuing controversy, however, has not been so straightforward, as Saleh’s reputation as a prankster has led to skepticism about his account. Saleh insists the discrimination was real, while Delta released a statement that essentially accused them of staging a disruption, saying that the duo were removed because they “sought to disrupt the cabin with provocative behavior.” Now, Saleh and Albaher have each released new videos from their respective YouTube accounts that show extended footage from and explanations of the situation.
In the videos, Saleh says that after a white woman complained that their use of Arabic made her “uncomfortable,” her traveling companion began to shout, “Chuck them off the plane!,” a refrain that Saleh says then caught on with about 20 people on the plane. Saleh claims he only started to film the situation when he realized he was being removed from the flight. In new footage shown by Albaher, Saleh can be seen arguing with flight crew at the gate, with the captain telling him, “We have an elevated situation … Everybody’s excited.” When Saleh argues that said excitement is only because he and Albaher spoke Arabic, the captain says, “You brought attention upon yourself, and you’re obviously doing this for the attention of —,” gesturing toward Saleh’s camera. To that, Saleh responds, “No, I’m not, I’m doing it because you kicked me out.”
Speaking to their subscribers, the duo again addressed suspicions of a hoax. For his part, Albaher objected to the disbelief, saying, “People keep using the fact that we’re pranksters against us. I feel like this is the boy who cried wolf.” Saleh, meanwhile, insisted, “You can see in the video, this is as real as it gets.” Watch Saleh’s video above, with Albaher’s video — which includes the additional footage — below.