US Airways passengers back Brandon T. Jackson’s claims of racist flight attendant

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Late last month #ShoppingWhileBlack became a trending hashtag on Twitter, after two African-American shoppers accused the department store Barney’s of racism.

On Monday, Tropic Thunder star Brandon T. Jackson took to Twitter alleging that he was escorted off of a US Airways flight and questioned by police after a flight attendant called him the n-word. Maybe the new controversial hashtag should be #FlyingWhileBlack.

Jackson, who is best known for his role as Grover in the Percy Jackson movies, says he was on a US Airways flight when a flight attendant named Dee approached him and asked him to sit down.

An argument ensued and Jackson claims the flight attendant said, “I don”t care if you’re Obama’s son — get in your seat!” Jackson says the flight attendant also called him the n-word.

The Fast & Furious actor took to Twitter to express his outrage mid-flight:

Today a fellow passenger is standing by Jackson and supporting his claims that he was unjustly targeted by a US airways flight attendant. According to Jackson’s publicist:

Brandon was flying to LA on Monday for an audition and was rehearsing lines with the passenger next to him, Elisabeth Schwarz, who he just met.  They weren’t served any food or beverages and were told that the passengers in the exit row were being too loud, even though no passengers had any issues with him.  When Brandon went to the back of the plane to ask for a couple of sandwiches and explain that it wasn’t his row causing a disturbance and that he was an actor practicing his lines, the flight attendant told him to sit down and “I don’t care if you’re Obama’s son,” then used a derogatory word – seemingly in jest.  Regardless of how it was intended, it obviously upset Brandon, so he said he was going to report it to the airline.  After that, the attendant made the pilot aware, handed him paperwork and called in to the connecting airport (Phoenix) that Brandon was being disruptive.  The flight attendant made it seem to Brandon that they were going to land prematurely because of him, which alarmed him (and the reason he took to Twitter immediately).  He was questioned by authorities when they landed in Phoenix.  After confirming that he wasn’t intoxicated nor disturbing any passengers (in fact 13 passengers stayed to confirm Brandon’s story and almost missed their flights), Brandon was put on the first flight to Burbank the next morning since he missed his connecting flight.

“He wasn’t being rowdy at all, and definitely not intoxicated,” Schwarz said. “There was another exit row in front of us that was standing, drinking and making noise.  We were all in shock when the attendant insinuated other passengers were complaining.  The other flight attendant even told us we weren’t doing anything wrong.”

Jackson said, “I realize this was just one flight attendant having a bad day and I appreciate the support of the other passengers, US Airways staff at the Phoenix airport, and the Phoenix airport police.”

US Airways has disputed the Big Momma’s House: Like Father, Like Son star’s version of the events and have maintained that he was unruly on the flight.

“The disruptive behavior started with loud music being played by Mr. Jackson at his seat,” a rep for the airline told TMZ. “He was asked several times to turn down the music. Additional erratic behavior was observed and that is when the crew made the decision to stop serving [alcohol to Brandon].”

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