by Alan Duke
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Actor Brandon T. Jackson was kicked off a US Airways flight Monday because he was disruptive, the airline told CNN Wednesday.
The “Tropic Thunder” star claims that it was other passengers who were loud and that the flight attendant who reported him called him the “n-word.”
“The disruptive behavior started with loud music being played by Mr. Jackson at his seat,” the airline said. “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. If the crew determines to no longer serve alcohol to a customer, then their decision is definitive at that point.”
But Jackson’s rep insisted the actor was not served any drinks before the incident, which he said began when Jackson walked to the back of the plane to ask for two sandwiches for himself and a seat mate. The attendant told him that other passengers had complained that he was being too loud, he said.
“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,” the rep said.
US Airways “fully supports the actions of the crew in this situation,” and the attendant “denied any use of the n-word or racist slurs” with Jackson, the airline said.
Jackson “was disruptive and our crew made the right decision,” the airline said. “This is in line with federal regulations and our policies.”
The attendant’s remark “obviously upset Brandon, so he said he was going to report it to the airline,” the rep said. The attendant told the pilot a passenger was disruptive, and the report was relayed to officials at the Phoenix airport, where he was to catch a connecting flight to Los Angeles, he said.
“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),” the rep said.
Jackson, who was traveling from New York to Los Angeles for an audition, tweeted to his 205,000 followers from the plane: “blogs please pic this up US Airways the most racist thing happen i was called the N word “I don’t care if your obama son” she said”
“they want to escort me off the plane for her saying racial stuff i have witness”
“i wish this racist generation just hurry up and die off… im tired of this”
“GUYS i need you help i am not going to jail for be called racial slurs please…”
Airport police questioned Jackson after he stepped off the flight in Phoenix, his rep said.
The rep said 13 other passengers confirmed Jackson’s story that he was not drunk or disruptive.
Afterward, Jackson tweeted again: “I was released from question and stranded in phx they will not let me fly anymore I don’t want to .. I’m taking this to CNN”
He boarded another flight to Los Angeles Tuesday morning, his rep said.
Jackson’s rep provided a statement from a woman he said was seated next to Jackson on the flight, whom he didn’t know before boarding.
“He wasn’t being rowdy at all, and definitely not intoxicated,” Elisabeth 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’s statement also included a conciliatory quote from the actor: “I realize this was just one flight attendant acting inappropriately and I appreciate the support of the other passengers, US Airways staff at the Phoenix airport, and the Phoenix airport police.”