Actor Nathan Davis Jr., best known for “Detroit,” “Hotel Artemis” and Marvel’s “Escape,” said that growing up as a black man, he never really felt racist. However, in a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Davis revealed that he was kicked off a plane last December when a flight attendant told him he was playing too loud music and falsely accused him of possessing a gun, claiming Davis was racially motivated. .
“I was extremely scared,” Davis said in an interview Diversity. “I really felt that there was no one without my back. I was the only black man on the plane. I just felt that my life really didn’t matter – I literally thought this woman would take my life, just say I had a gun. “
Davis and his attorney, George Mallory, have filed racial discrimination lawsuits against United Airlines, Express Jet Airlines – which operates as United Express on behalf of United – and against Manaair.
Davis is asking if any judge will pay him 10 million in damages.
Matthew Parsons, corporate communications manager for Express Jet Airlines, said in a statement. Diversity: “While we cannot comment on active litigation, Express Jet does not tolerate racism and we are investigating the incident to better understand what happened to our aircraft in December.”
After the case was made public, the 26-year-old tickling star (with more than 9 million followers on the app) was addressing why he decided to talk now.
“I think I need to speak up to show people about the situation that no matter how much money or reputation you have as a black man, we still aim at our backs,” Davis said. “And I don’t want anyone else to have to go through this situation for which I don’t have a platform.”
In the lawsuit, Davis said that after taking the seat in the back of a flight from Houston to Nashville, a female flight attendant asked him to turn off his music, which was ringing from his cell phone to his ear. Davis says he removed the song following his instructions. He noticed that other passengers around him were also listening to music on their devices, but did not approach them. Davis further says that the minister contacted him a second and third time, only talking to him.
“Last time, for the third time, my music just paused to stop, and he did it again and he’s making fun of me.”
Davis said the other passengers sitting next to him on the plane told him they could not hear his music and they felt the attendant take him outside. So, the actor started recording what was happening on the plane, which started driving taxis on the runway. In a video received Diversity“He’s literally calling the police to me to listen to the song. It’s crazy,” Davis said.
He decided to record what was happening so that he could share it with others later. “I just started recording because I thought the only way to reveal the truth was recording with me on my phone.”
According to the lawsuit, the flight attendant called the captain from the telephone at the back of the plane and it was only later announced that the plane would “return to the gate to evacuate a passenger.” Upon arrival at the gate, one of the airline’s operations supervisors boarded the plane and escorted Davis to the jetway in private conversation with the captain. From there things escalated further and Davis started recording again. According to the lawsuit, the captain “tried to abduct her by force [Davis’] Cell phone when he recorded the interaction between the parties. “
Davis was ordered back on the plane to retrieve his belongings, and there was once – as mentioned in the lawsuit – a final conversation with the flight attendant, which he also captured on video. In the video, a voice is heard over the loudspeaker saying “he has a gun now,” Davis claiming in his lawsuit that it was a lie and has not come up so far. As the plane took off, Davis thought police would wait for him at the terminal.
“The whole time I’m sitting there, thinking all these cops are going to point a gun at me, or they’ll look at my phone and think it’s a gun and kill me,” he said. “I think there could have been an air marshal on the plane who could have attacked me.”
“I felt very alone. I just think to myself, ‘I’m going to die. No one will know my story; All they found out was that there was a black baby in the hoodie and some sweat that had been shot at the family by these cops because a flight attendant said he had a gun. “I don’t have to wear a suit or tie where I have to go. I should wear what I want to wear. I don’t have to explain to people that my hoodie wasn’t on. Why should I tell? Why can’t I be the kind of person who would fly a plane to perform? “
But when he was fired, Davis said that “the staff was very forgiving of me and they didn’t even give me back. They knew I didn’t have a gun. There was a kid who knew me from Tiktok.”
An airline agent also recognized him for his work in the movie “Detroit”.
“When me and the operations supervisor told her the story, she just broke down and started crying,” Davis recalled. “He said, ‘All I can think of is my little kid and watching that movie and seeing it happen to you.’
The 2017 film stars Davis Aubrey as Pollard Jr., who was shot dead by police at an Algiers motel during the 1967 Detroit Rebellion – and the actor said Diversity The moment he thought about the movie.
“Because of this character, I had to survive the real situation for a few months, so when this situation happened on the plane, it came back to my character,” Davis said. “I came back to those images and those videos to prepare for this situation.”
Davis called for change in the entertainment industry, saying he felt that negative images of black people on screen contributed to stereotypes.
“I think people look at African Americans that way, because there’s a lot of logic to the entertainment industry,” he said. “Every role I’ve achieved is basically a kid from a thug or a kid who’s hanging out with the wrong crowd.”
“I think we need to change that. We need to take a more positive role. We need to show African Americans in a positive light, “Davis said, pointing to superhero films such as” Black Panther “and” Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Shlok “as positive examples of black men in the media.” People have to show up, a black guy will show up to save lives, and not just thugs and ‘I grew up without a father’ ‘and they threw negative aggression at us. “
Despite growing up in the Memphis suburb of Tempe and never having any trouble with the authorities, Davis said his parents taught him how to behave when the situation arose.
“My mother always told me to stay calm when I was in a situation like this,” he recalled. “What should I do when the police catch me – he always told me – always obey and don’t talk back, and just listen to them.”
Davis eventually moved on to another flight and took it to his final destination. The airline has promoted him to first class.
Once she landed in Nashville, Davis performed the planned wedding of Erin Foster (daughter of music legend David Foster). But it was a passionate tax collection concert for both Davis and his mother, Sophia Watkins, who traveled separately to meet the boy in Tennessee for this ticket.
“I had to suppress my own emotions so that he wouldn’t get the feeling, so that he could still keep his head in the game, be able to perform,” said Watkins, who has served as one of his son’s directors. “Although it was a sad time. We both didn’t even fully realize the whole thing because we had to keep acting because we had to move on. “
Davis added, “We literally had to act like nothing happened.” “I had to get on a stage, I had to sing my heart out and I had nothing to do with it. And that was one of the hardest things. “
For now, Davis Airlines is awaiting an official response. His attorney, George Mallory, said a letter to the airline in January formally complaining about the incident went unanswered.
Davis said he is working through the sensations of this experience and seeing a physician to deal with ghostly thoughts and nightmares.
“I was humiliated,” Davis said. I was embarrassed. Just feeling so powerless and my life doesn’t matter, it really fell on me. I have PTSD moments. I broke down when I talked to people about the situation.
Davis has been receiving messages of support on social media since the lawsuit was filed. “People are saying it needs to stop, it needs to change,” Davis said. “I’m glad people are talking about the situation and standing by me.”