UK budget airline Ryanair is copping some well-deserved outrage, after a video of a racist white man throwing a tantrum over being seated next to a black woman on a flight went viral.
The video shows the man shouting at the elderly woman, calling her an “ugly black bastard“, and demanding she be moved to a different seat. Ryanair staff did just that.
In the video, the man can be heard yelling, “don’t talk to me in a foreign language you stupid ugly cow,” and “I don’t care whether she’s fucking disabled or not – if I tell her to get out she gets out.“
This is a Ryanair flight from Barcelona to London the racist old man didn’t not want to sit next to this elderly woman Because she was black & to him black People are dirty— ????????✨ || Nickisha ||✨???????? (@NickiPlayhouse_) October 20, 2018
Instead of them escorting him off the flight or moving him they fulfilled his wishes and moved the woman???? pic.twitter.com/g7k7M2S0rB
People are understandably furious, with many saying that the flight crew should have kicked the old racist off the flight instead.
The woman is a 77-year-old recent widow, whose daughter was taking her on a trip to “raise her spirits” after the death of her husband of 50 years.
The woman told ITV News:
I am so depressed. I’ve just lost my husband and now I have to go through this.
Her daughter has given interviews to ITV and the Huffington Post, explaining the circumstances and saying that she will never fly Ryanair again. She says that the confrontation started when her mother, who has arthritis, took some time to stand up to let the man get to his seat at the window.
She told HuffPost:
In a few weeks, it’ll be one year since my dad died and I took my mum away for a few days’ break. My parents were married for over 50 years. She’s been feeling really down and depressed, so I thought the trip would raise her spirits.
The underlying reason behind the man’s abusive behaviour comes down to the fact that my mum is a black woman and he didn’t want her sitting next to him – he says it in the video.
My mother has worked all of her life, paid her taxes and her dues. Why should she have to go through all of this?
She’s asked for an “open apology” from Ryanair, and says that the airline would have handled things differently if the man had been black.
I know that if I was behaving like he was or any other black person, for that matter, police would’ve been called and we would’ve been kicked off of the flight.
Twitter has been blowing up with criticism for the airline, with many calling for immediate action.
In the shocking video, a man can be heard referring to Mrs Gayle, a 77-year-old pensioner from East London, as an “ugly black bastard”. He appears to be refusing to sit next to her & threatening to “push” her if she does not sit elsewhere. ⬇️https://t.co/m3Kgv5vohm— Nadine White (@Nadine_Writes) October 21, 2018
Mrs Gayle moved to the UK from Jamaica in the 1960s, where she built a life with her late husband and their children. “This is #BlackHistoryMonth! My mother has worked her all of her life, paid her taxes and her dues,” her daughter said.— Nadine White (@Nadine_Writes) October 21, 2018
"He should have been ejected off the flight": David Lawrence, who filmed the incident in which a woman was racially abused on a Ryanair flight, describes his shock at what happened https://t.co/ruMwMqBFnt pic.twitter.com/tKTyes128j— ITV News (@itvnews) October 21, 2018
“He was saying things that are unrepeatable” – Man who filmed racial abuse of a woman in her 70s on a Ryanair flight describes what happened— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) October 21, 2018
Ryanair has referred the matter to Essex Police https://t.co/vKVURlO3HR pic.twitter.com/1badicVY33
You need to compensate the lady. You have not done enough by simply shifting the responsibility to the police.— SimiB (@Siimzo) October 21, 2018
Exactly, their response was so curt….. just stating their belated awareness and how someone else will sweep up their mess— Metaphorically speaking.. (@Welcom2Oblivion) October 21, 2018
I shall be writing to @Ryanair and the Aviation Minister Liz Sugg to ask what they’ve done about this. Clearly committed criminal offences. Racially Aggravated s.39 and or racially Aggravated s.5 Public Order. Needs to be charged and fast. https://t.co/yjJs8JdiCZ— Karl Turner MP (@KarlTurnerMP) October 21, 2018