A black screenwriter returning home from an Emmys awards show in Los Angeles says he was prevented from boarding a Delta flight when a group of white passengers passed by.
Darnell Walker, a children’s television writer and documentary filmmaker, said he arrived at the gate of Los Angeles International Airport 17 minutes before he left for Boston on Monday.
Mr Walker said in a viral Twitter thread the gate attendant told him it was too late to board, as they stopped allowing passengers to board 15 minutes before takeoff.
The attendant then waved at white passengers behind him in the queue and allegedly admitted to Mr Walker it was because he was a racist.
“The gate agent said it was too late for my flight – it wasn’t. He told me to rebook at (customer service) then he scanned the people behind me,” Mr. Walker said in the Twitter.
When he asked why the passengers behind him were allowed to board, he says he was told “to go over there”.
“Your employee…didn’t let me on the flight because I’m black,” he wrote in a tweet to the airline.
Delta has launched an investigation into the incident.
Mr. Walker, an Emmy-nominated writer whose credits include Netflix Karma’s World and Apply for asylumTold The Independent in an email, he had been deeply upset by the experience.
“As a constant traveler and explorer, I benefit from believing that the world is a good place, so when I encounter such rude and disrespectful people, it makes me question a lot,” he said..
“It’s not new to me. I come from places where I’ve had to deal with these issues most of my life.
Mr Walker was in Los Angeles to attend the Children’s and Family Emmys Award at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
After filing a formal complaint on Tuesday, he said he heard Delta say it was investigating.
Your employee, Richard (as another said), admittedly wouldn’t let me on the flight because I’m black. When he asked her name for the complaint, he covered his name tag and said he didn’t need to give it, but was still looking forward to reading the complaint. https://t.co/VBAUpG4UL4
— Darnell Lamont Walker 🍥 (@hellodarnell) December 12, 2022
In a statement to The Independenta Delta spokesperson said, “Delta has zero tolerance for discrimination in any form.
“While we investigate what this customer is alleging for this purpose, we are also in direct contact with the customer to learn more about their experience.”