In today’s world, it can be tough to escape politics.
In late February, it was something that well-known Iranian-born dentist Dr. Shawn Sadri says he experienced for himself, after he made an apparently ill-timed joke about President Donald Trump on an American Airlines flight.
As Sadri recounted to The Hollywood Reporter:
“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.'”
When the flight attendant responded that he shouldn’t say that because it’s “so rude,” Sadri says he replied:
“You must be a Trump supporter.”
Things just got more heated from there — with Sadri reportedly telling the flight attendant the she must be “incompetent” for leaving it up to a passenger to deal with the errant young boy — until he was eventually removed from the flight by what he described as a “nice” security team.
While it’s likely that the story would have received plenty of attention otherwise, an additional twist is the fact that Sadri is described as a “celebrity dentist,” rubbing shoulders with the likes of Carmen Electra, Aaron Paul and the late Robin Williams:
Still, it’s noted that the dentist believes that his “distaste for President Trump” and the fact that he “was born a Muslim in Iran” were certainly factors in the way that he was treated, adding:
“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.”
American Airlines has since confirmed that “a passenger was removed from our 6:00 a.m. PT flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to New York (JFK) Sunday for being disruptive and not following crewmember instructions,” but that he “was rebooked, and flew, on the 7:00 a.m. PT flight to JFK.”
The airline did not provide any further information on the details surrounding that removal, however.
Whatever the case, it seems that anyone willing to start a politically-charged argument onboard an airplane — whether they intend to support or criticize the president — should think twice if they want to reach their destination on time.