There was a tense moment on a recent flight after Talib Kweli got into a disagreement with the staff. The Black Star icon shared the ordeal on social media, posting several videos of the escalation. Things seemed to have ignited after Kweli was told that his carry-on item didn’t fit underneath his seat. In one video, viewers can hear the rapper explaining why the bag fits securely.
The situation developed into an uncomfortable exchange after Kweli says American Air threatened to have him arrested. “After clearing my bag with the gate agent, flight attendant Sky Seaglass tells me my bag is too big and I must check it,” Kweli wrote on Instagram.
“I asked why, so he got annoyed and called his supervisor. The supervisor tells me it’s her decision whether I fly or not. That’s an important detail.”
“The supervisor sees that the attendant Seaglass was wrong about my bag and walks me to my seat and says l’m good to fly,” Kweli further shared. “Moments later the supervisor comes back and tells me that if I do not obey the flight attendant while in the air, I will go to jail. The whole time, Seaglass, who I’m not talking to at all, is telling people he feels ‘unsafe.’”
Then, the rapper says the supervisor returned to tell him he “must leave the plane.” He said he felt “that’s a violation of my human rights” before she told him to stop recording.
“Even though earlier she said I could record,” he said.
All passengers were then instructed to leave the plane as Kweli sat by.
“They then send 3 police officers in. Police expressed surprise that @americanair crew threatened me with arrest and said only the police can make that call. Cops then say ‘we got called out for nothing’ and ‘you didn’t do anything wrong.’ It’s right there on video.”
American Air has yet to address the controversy.