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Emmy Nominated TV Writer Says a Delta Gate Agent Stopped Him from Boarding a Flight Because He Was Black

Emmy Nominated TV Writer Says a Delta Gate Agent Stopped Him from Boarding a Flight Because He Was Black

a man in a hat and a plane

Darnell Lamont Walker, a successful black screenwriter and documentary filmmaker who was traveling home from an Emmy’s award ceremony in Los Angeles says a Delta Air Lines gate agent prevented him from boarding a flight to Boston on Monday but then waved through white passengers who were in line behind him.

Walker says the gate agent allegedly denied him boarding because he was too late and then admitted that his decision to allow the white passengers behind to board was a sign of racism.

The screenwriter, whose credits include Karma’s World and Seeking Asylum on Netflix, admitted that he arrived at Los Angeles Airport with only 17 minutes to spare before the scheduled departure time but that doesn’t explain why other passengers would allowed to board after him.

“Gate agent said it was too late to get on my flight – it wasn’t. Told me to get rebooked at CS [customer services] then he scanned in the people behind me,” Walker wrote in a now-viral Twitter post.

Recalling the events that followed, Walker said a woman called out the gate agent for what seemed like a racist incident. The gate agent allegedly replied: “It is”.

Since sharing a photo of the agent on Twitter, the airline has since launched an internal investigation while a member of Delta’s social media team replied to Walker:

“I apologize for the experience you’ve had with us today. Our employees reflect our culture of treating all people with dignity and respect, and that is our ultimate goal.”

Speaking with the Independent, the children’s TV writer said dealing with racist incidents was “nothing new” to him. “I’m from places where I’ve had to deal with these issues nearly my entire life,” Walker said.

“As a constant traveler and explorer, it benefits me to believe the world is a good place, so when meeting people so rude and disrespectful, it makes me question a lot,” he continued.

An ex-Delta flight attendant who was sacked by the airline is currently pursuing a lawsuit against the carrier over allegations that supervisors turned a blind eye to the woman’s colleagues calling her and other Chinese and Asian Americans part of the “Chinese Mafia”.

Last month, a wheelchair travel expert and blogger criticized Delta after a flight attendant threatened to call armed law enforcement on him if he didn’t get off a plane when his wheelchair failed to turn up.

After a nearly nine-hour flight from Santiago de Chile earlier this month, there was a delay in ground handlers retrieving Cory Lee’s wheelchair from the hold of the aircraft and returning it to the aircraft door.

Although special assistance staff were waiting to help Cory, he refused to budge from his seat until his own wheelchair was retrieved from the hold of the aircraft. Cory says sitting in an airport wheelchair would have caused him injury so he exercised his legal rights to wait for his own wheelchair.

View Comments (4)
  • Why are you posting one sided unverified stories like this? The story doesn’t even make sense. If boarding was over why was there still a line? Did it even occur to you that there is almost certainly more to this story? Perhaps this wasn’t an issue of boarding. Perhaps this was an issue with actually checking in which would be a much more logical explanation for what happened. Otherwise, you’re saying a random gate agent, being observed by many people, just up and decided to stop a random black person in line from boarding in the midst of the normal boarding process while allowing the people in front and back on for no reason. Because this agent is going to commit an act which would certainly get him fired for no reason.

    But let’s not wait to find out the facts – let’s just make the allegations even though the allegations make no logical sense and have multiple other explanations. And now you have posted a picture of a person alleging they did something they may not have done. Exceptionally irresponsible reporting.

  • I was on a shuttle flight from DCA to LGA last week as I was boarding, a lady ran up to the counter and said “I’m on the 530 they told me to run and you’d put me on this one ”
    Gate agent said “Its too late”
    Woman: “But your still boarding”
    Agent: “Yes but the computer won’t even allow me to add you”
    She was white [so we can’t use that] by the way so I guess this means Delta is also sexist?

  • This garbage is such BS and is so tiresome. The true racist here is the creep who is trying to use the race card for self promotion while ruining a humble gate agent’s life in the process. What a despicable slimebag.

    BTW – I’ve gotten to the gate past closing when the aircraft is still there and have also been denied boarding. Usually that’s because they’re done boarding and closing the door. Everything that happens in life isn’t racist, unless you’re mentally ill.

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