United Airlines employee removed from work after racially abusing actress

United Airlines employee removed from work after racially abusing actress

A United Airlines employee has been accused of shouting racial slurs at an actress, calling her a “shining monkey”.

Cacilie Hughes was returning from speaking about women’s empowerment at a university in Michigan and was waiting for her luggage to arrive at United’s terminal inside George Bush Intercontinental Airport when the incident occurred.

Hughes told the New York Times she had asked United employee Carmella Davano for a “refund code”, causing her to erupt into a racist tirade calling her a “monkey” and a “shining monkey”.

“I was humiliated,” she said.

“I was crying and I was the only black woman in the area.”

Hughes appeared alongside Will Smith in the 2015 film 'Focus'.

Hughes appeared alongside Will Smith in the 2015 film ‘Focus’.

Hughes called the police, who arrived at the scene where two witnesses told them what Davano allegedly said.

Hughes’ attorneys Benjamin Crump and Jasmine Rand said in a news release that Davano told Hughes to stop looking at her with her “monkey face” as witnesses tried unsuccessfully to intervene.

“Racial slurs like ‘shining monkey’ should be relics of history, not resurrected to fuel the fire of racism faced by so many African Americans in today’s society and condoned on United Airlines flights,” Crump and Rand said in the release.

Davano, who has not returned to work since the incident, was later charged with disorderly conduct for using a racial slur.

A United Airlines spokesperson told Travel Weekly the airline removed Davano from her position straight away and is actively pursuing termination.

“At United, we believe that the diversity of our workforce makes us stronger,” the spokesperson said.

“Together, we proudly hold ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism and have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.

“This incident is deeply offensive and does not reflect the fundamental values of our company and our 90,000 employees.

“That is why we took immediate action to remove this individual from the job. Since then, we have been following all of the required procedures under this individual’s union contract and are actively pursuing termination.”

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

united airlines

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