TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

'Barbershop' Actor

I Was Kicked Off Plane

Because I'm Black

9/1/2011 11:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0831_united_michael_colyar_getty_EXD

United Airlines is investigating a complaint made by an actor who appeared on the TV show "Barbershop" after he claimed he was kicked off of a flight simply because he was black.

Michael Colyar claims he was booted from his flight at Dulles International Airport in Virginia after he refused to allow a flight attendant to move his luggage from the overhead storage bin ... so a white passenger could stow her bag there instead.

Colyar claims the flight attendant gave him dirty looks when he denied her request -- so he inquired about filing a complaint. That's when Colyar says he was approached by security, who removed the actor from the flight.

Colyar blogged about the incident ... saying, "The flight attendant and her friend got just what they wanted, the n**ger off the plane. I'm sure they feel a great triumph in putting an uppity n**ger in his place."

He adds, "At the least I should be suing United Airlines for theft of services, public humiliation and defamation of character."

United Airlines tells TMZ ... "As a global airline with a diverse workforce, United has zero tolerance for any type of discrimination and we take every such matter seriously. We spoke to Mr. Colyar  Wednesday so that we can address his concerns, and committed to get back to him as we learn more from our coworkers and other customers onboard.”

Sources connected to the incident tell us multiple passengers have been interviewed about the situation -- and several people said Colyar was loud with the flight attendant and had become an unruly passenger.

332 COMMENTS

No Avatar
181.

sunshinerad    

There are still racists out there. Although this guy may have been exhaggerating, racist things do still happen. My question is when is it OKAY to use the race card?

1156 days ago
182.

Dawn Bassett     

GOSH MAN: YOU ARE GONNA HAVE TO FIND A NEW
AND IMPROVED "EXCUSE". THE RACE THING, DON'T
CUT THE MUSTARD. REALLY NOW!!!!!!

1156 days ago
183.

PK    

Could you please stop throwing your race card around...you're f***ing it up for the people who will, one day, really need it. Crying wolf, when you were so clearly out of line, is desensitizing those who used to take your claims seriously. Pretty soon no one will care and your cries of discrimination will only be met with an eye roll.

1156 days ago
184.

Tyler    

Yeah, I never take any of those "complaints" seriously. It's always the race card anyway. They don't know what else to say.

1156 days ago
185.

Danielle    

I read the whole story before you posted it and I see no where in his story that would cause him to think they threw him off the plane because he was black. I do find some things odd in his story. For example, "She said you’ll have to stow it under your seat. My other bag was already under the seat so I asked why do I have to remove my bag being that I’m allowed one space in the overhead." Why didn't he tell her he already had a bag under the seat in front of him? Sounds to me like he was looking for a fight. Then there is this, "Because I had the gumption to exhibit a backbone, I was summarily punished and taught a “Lesson”." This also tells me he was looking for a fight, why argue, in this day and age with the flight attendants? People, of all color, get kicked off flights just for this reasoning all the time.

There is then this, "Toward the end of the boarding process a woman entered the plane, last minute with a suitcase that, by right should have been checked luggage." We have no clue how big this bag was that he wants us to think was huge, but the truth is that only certain sized bags fit into the over heads so it couldn't have been that big.

You are on a plan with 80+ people, he thinks bbecause he is a frequent flyer with Premier Executive status that he should be treated with extra preferences. All 80 people need to fit on the plane with their stuff, but he says, "After all isn’t it first come first served, Am I “premier exec” or not." SOunds like arrogance to me, and it has nothing to do with color, just attitude on a full plane.

Then he decides to really stir things up, "I rang the call button to ask to speak to the head flight attendant. This same so called flight attendant returned and when I requested the head flight attendant she went back to the others and they had another pow-wow while giving me these nasty looks. Instead of bringing over the head flight attendant the brought over the lady who works the counter. When I said I wanted to speak to the head flight attendant, she said “you can speak to her or nobody.” So I said I need to lodge a complaint and they both walked away."

Now, I don't like attitudes of the TSA or the Flight Attendants post 9-11 either, but it is what it is at this time and if you act unruly or cause trouble, white, black, green or otherwise they have the right to throw you off the plane. I flew on Friday and paid extra for a certain seat only to have someone in it when I got on the plane, the guy took forever to move, he wasn't and one flight attendant was trying to get it situated when another one came back and, very rudely said, this is enough of this, you (meaning me) sit up here, we don't have time for this. I didn't argue, I decided instead to write the airlines when I got home because I did pay extra for that aisle seat and it should have been reserved for me, but there was no use getting an already riled FA more riled. I wanted to get to my destination. I will tell you, I was not happy.

He goes on to say, as if he knew what was in the FAs thoughts, "The flight attendant and her friend got just what they wanted, the ****** off the plane. I’m sure they feel a great triumph in putting an uppity ****** in his place." When he has no idea if that was true or not.

Then this remark of his is just over the top, "How is my situation any different then that of Rose Parks. I wouldn’t surrender my space so the white lady could be comfortable, so they throw me off the plane…no questions asked." Along with this one, "United Airlines have forgotten that they are a service I paid for and I paid the same amount or more than the white lady of privilege that they spent so much time accommodating and kissing her behind....If “Don’t ask questions, just throw the ****** off the plane” is the post 9-11 policy than black folks should seek out other airlines..." He is the bully and the racist, no the other way around.

1156 days ago
186.

Lisa    

Everyone's a little racist

But this and the other case really dont'sound a case of airline people being racist but being hyper alert and dealing with potential problems while they are easy to deal with.

1156 days ago
187.

HaveSome    

This is the new Racial Harmony that the first Black president has brought to this country. Everything has to be about race now. Hell, we can't even criticize the president because it is considered racist?!

While there are good Americans (who happen to be black) who just want to do the right thing and succeed....they are tarnished by the jacka$$'s who always cry racism. All they succeed in doing is undoing everything that generations before them fought to overcome. Why? Because they WANT that excuse. They NEED that excuse. They are afraid to actually work and try to get along on equal footing because those morons are afraid they can't make it without some handout. And it is a total disservice to the Americans of the same race who just work hard every day to get by.

1156 days ago
188.

Patty    

Seriously, in this day & age? I'd glare at you too, old man, for not allowing a Lady to store her bag in the compartment. The attendant used courtesy when asking you first if she could push your bag aside to make room for more. What a complete A-hole!!!!! Get over yourself, Mister!

1156 days ago
189.

Lekili    

Stop playing the racist card, you, according to other passengers were unruly and asked to leave, has nothing to do with being black. You were acting out and that is a risk to the flight crew and other passengers............period.

1156 days ago
190.

Justin    

Another ignorant son of a biatch that wants something for nothing. Bet you $10 the motherphucker was taking up his baggage space and another one and didn't want to move to make room.

1156 days ago
191.

Danielle    

Many people won't like what I am going to say, but it is true. Mr. Colyar will always think anyone speaking against him or disagreeing with him is a racist and that they are doing it because he is black because he identifies himself as a black man instead of just as a man. He is looking for trouble and makes every attempt to promote it.

1156 days ago
192.

John Q    

He was probably drunk, and didn't like someone telling him what he could, or could not do. Bad drunken mistake

1156 days ago
193.

Joao    

That guy is just plane-old-NUTS!!! It's not as if the attendant asked HIM to move his luggage. He's just an old man with an attitude.

1156 days ago
194.

Danielle    

Good post:

http://humormillmag.com/?p=3871

DaisyDooks says:
September 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm
“I now became concerned for my comfort and safety on this flight. With her behavior I would be scared to eat or drink anything she would serve me. So I rang the call button to ask to speak to the head flight attendant.”

@BRTHR Colyar – Your experience with United Airlines was unfortunate. However, I wished you had exercised foresight given that the problem was resolved when the late-boarding white female passenger’s bag was placed in a storage compartment in First Class. It was a done deal. You stood your ground and didn’t allow the flight attendant to inconvenience you to accommodate a late-arriving passenger. You won. Yes, the flight attendant may have been a little salty, but who cares? She may have bad-mouthed you to her co-workers which resulted in those ‘dirty’ looks you perceived, but who cares? That’s THEIR problem, not yours. Your goal was to get to your destination. Why did your THINKING become subjective?

0. Why were you concerned for your comfort AFTER the luggage issue had been resolved?

1. Why were you fearful for your safety? All you did was bruise the flight attendant’s ego when you halted her attempts to commandeer your overhead compartment space for someone else. Did you think she was ACTUALLY going to take vengeance by tampering with your food and drink? Aren’t food and beverages dispensed in containers and packaging? Seriously.

2. What was the necessity for contacting the head flight attendant AFTER the luggage issue had been resolved? This is the point where YOU gave YOUR power to the flight attendant. Now, she could twist the situation and finger you as a ‘troublesome, nuisance’ passenger. You gave her recourse and she used it.

Had you ignored and dismissed the rest of the b.s. (which was irrelevant), you’d have completed your flight.

Change your THINKING from subjective to objective, change the outcome. Think strategically. The power is ALL yours.

P.S. You could have played it cool, kept silent and after you reached your destination, obtained the name of the flight attendant, grabbed and completed a customer satisfaction survey detailing your grievances or written a letter to United. Trust, there IS power in the pen. A written customer complaint in someone’s personnel file has repercussions. Plus, United would have taken damage control measures. You’re a celebrity.

Lovingly,
DaisyDooks

1156 days ago
195.

Not an idiot like the rest of you    

I am not a racist and I hate racists. It's pretty clear this guy is just a jerk and if a white person calls him on it, he yells "RACIST!" I hate people like that as well. Like others have said, there are tens of thousands (if not more) of black airline passengers per day along with all kinds of other ethnicities and nationalities. I don't think flight attendants are systematically (or even randomly) kicking people off planes based on such things. Go f*ck yourself Colyar.

1156 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web