Following an incident on a Ryanair flight that many are calling racist, a change.org petition has currently amassed close to 310k signatures, demanding an apology and compensation for the victim of the incident.
On October 19th, footage emerged online of an elderly white man screaming insults at an elderly black woman on a Ryanair flight from Barcelona to London. The man, later identified as David Mesher of Birmingham, was filmed calling passenger, Delsie Gayle of East London, an “ugly black bastard” and loudly insisting that she be moved away from him.
Ultimately, Mesher was permitted to stay on the flight while Gayle was relocated to another seat, despite several other passengers insisting that Mesher be removed from the plane.
Image courtesy of Andy Mitchell via Flickr.
Since the incident, Ryanair has contacted the police. But as the airline’s response came after the video had gone viral, there has been criticism that Ryanair is not properly being held accountable.
Several petitions have popped up on the widely-used website of change.org. While the most popular one regarding the incident is close to its goal of 500k signatures, there are others with signatures ranging between one and five thousand.
However, it is yet to be seen if anything will be done in regards to the incident. As no petitions have yet been published on Parliament’s official petition website, there is no obligation for the UK government or Ryanair to respond.Any impact this has on Ryanair has yet to be seen. While Ryanair’s stocks hit a low on the day of the controversy, it is unclear if the two are correlated. Despite the backlash, the airline’s stocks have steadily risen throughout the week.
Words: Elise Fritts | Subbing: Taylor Paatalo