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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Memphis born Hollywood actor/singer says he was kicked off flight because of his race

A Memphis man living his dreams in show business in Hollywood is sharing his nightmare experience aboard a recent flight.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Nathan Davis Jr. is detailing his experience in the sky, which wasn’t very friendly.

The former Houston High student is suing Express Jet, a regional flight affiliate of United Airlines, for what he says was the most humiliating day of his life.

"I walked on the plane, sat in my seat and I had my earbuds in my ears. And the flight attendant singled me out and walked over to me and said I hear music. I don't know who it is. Can you please turn your down in your earbuds?" said Davis.

Davis was on his way from Houston to perform at famed music producer David Foster's daughter's wedding in Nashville. He says he complied and turned his music down, but the flight attendant returned, saying she still heard music and asked him to turn it down again.

"So I turn it down and there was a couple sitting across from me getting my attention, saying, 'hey, we don't hear your music. We think she's bothering you - singling you out,' so I paused my music."

Davis says the flight attendant, returned to complain about the music again.

In cell phone video recorded by Davis, you can see the flight attendant on the phone in the background.

Davis says the next thing he knew, the plane was returning to the jetway, where was met and escorted off the plane by an Express Jet executive.

Davis recorded that incident, where he says: "This guy is kicking me off the plane because I'm black. This dude right here."

Towards the end of the video, you see the pilot appear to move towards Davis and the woman raises her hand to separate the two men.

Davis alleges at that moment, the pilot jumped on his back trying to take his phone.

An Express Jet spokesman would not comment, citing litigation over the matter.

Davis returned to the plane to gather his tuxedo bag. In more cell phone video, you hear the flight attendant announce to everybody that Davis has a gun as he exits the plane.

Seeing images of George Floyd alone under a an officer's knee compelled Davis to speak out about his encounter.

"It brought me back to that situation. I'm walking off the plane. I'm the only African American on that plane and nobody said anything. Nobody stood up and that's a horrible place to be in," said Davis.

A spokesman for Express Jet said in a statement Express Jet does not tolerate racism and “we are investigating this incident to better understand what occurred onboard our aircraft in December.”

Davis says he's disappointed because he has not received an apology nor heard from the airline since the incident.

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