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Prominent Iranian-born dentist Dr. Shawn Sadri was kicked off an American Airlines flight to New York on Tuesday morning after tending to some of his high-profile clients (Aaron Paul, Gabby Douglas) in Los Angeles before the Oscars.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Sadri opens up about what really happened and how he feels strongly that the flight attendant who ousted him was potentially racially profiling him and was upset when Sadri pointed out that she wasn’t doing her job.
“I was on a 6 a.m. flight and went to sit in my middle seat. There was a Latino boy, about 6-7 years old. He didn’t speak a lick of English and he was crying. After helping him with this blanket and headphones, the boy went hysterical and started running back and forth to the front of the plane.
“The flight attendant came by to confirm who was supposed to be sitting in the [boy’s] seat. I was only trying to help out, but asked her what was he doing by himself on the flight. The boy went back to his window seat, and that was when I said, ‘He must be flying to Iran and he’s probably going to be deported.’
“The flight attendant then said, ‘Don’t say that, it’s so rude.’ That is when I said to the attendant, ‘You must be a Trump supporter.’ The back and forth discussion never got out of hand. I didn’t say anything rude to her, swear or raise my voice. She told me if I didn’t calm down they were going to remove me from the plane. I just asked why I was taking care of this child. This final comment resulted in me being escorted off the plane.
“She just didn’t like me because I was going back and forth with her. They could have left me on the plane. The captain never said anything or even looked at me when I passed by him. I don’t think he even knew what was going on. What happed next is even more strange. I walked right up to security and they said, ‘We are going to put you on the next flight.’ If I was such a risk, why would they put me on the next flight in 10 minutes?
“It seems you can’t speak your mind to a flight attendant or even mention Trump in the air. I was sitting down and not yelling, but I think the whole country is now escalated and I have been getting so many hate emails right now. They’re going after me but I can handle it; it’s no problem. Most of the comments on Twitter are from middle America.
“I really didn’t want this to blow up like this. But I’m happy to stand up. I was born a Muslim but I’m not religious, nor are my parents. We drink! We are very Americanized and happy to be here.”
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