Ryanair passenger racism video prompts police investigation

In this file photo taken on September 21, 2017 A Ryanair plane lands at Dublin Airport on September 21, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 23 October 2018
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Ryanair passenger racism video prompts police investigation

  • Ryanair are accountable for the protection of their customers and they FAILED!

DUBLIN: A viral video showing a man racially abusing an elderly passenger on a Ryanair flight has prompted widespread outrage and an investigation by British police.
The video — now viewed on Facebook more than four million times — appears to show a white man in an altercation with a black woman over seating arrangements in their row.
Despite protests from another passenger that the woman was disabled, the man can be heard threatening to push her and and calling her an “ugly black bastard” in the three minute clip.
A cabin crew member and a passenger can be seen intervening in an apparent attempt to calm the man, whilst another can be heard pleading for staff to move the woman.
But the no-frills Irish airline has drawn criticism on social media for failing to eject the abusive passenger from the flight.
“He refused to sit next to the woman because she was black,” wrote David Lawrence, the man who filmed the incident, in a caption to the video on Facebook.
“Ryanair are accountable for the protection of their customers and they FAILED!“
“The elderly lady was moved to another seat whilst the man was allowed to continue his journey with extra room and on board service,” he added on Youtube.
Lawrence also said he has drawn personal criticism for choosing to record the situation rather than intervene.
“One of the passengers whilst I was filming basically said to me don’t you think you’re being a bit childish by filming this,” he told BBC Breakfast.
“I had to make a difficult decision at that time because if I had stepped in I don’t think you would have seen the footage that I captured.”
Lawrence said the video was filmed on flight FR 9015 from Barcelona to London Stansted on Friday 19 October.
British police say they understand the incident took place whilst the plane was on the tarmac at Barcelona airport.
Essex Police, the force with jurisdiction over Stansted Airport, told AFP they were made aware of the incident on Sunday and are now working with Spanish officers on an investigation.
“Essex Police takes prejudice-based crime seriously and we want all incidents to be reported,” a spokesman said in a statement.
“We are working closely with Ryanair and the Spanish authorities on the investigation.”
Ryanair said in a statement: “We have reported this to the police in Essex and as this is now a police matter, we cannot comment further.”
Asked about the incident at a daily press briefing on Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said: “When people are traveling and going about their public life, no-one should be subjected to intimidation or any form of abuse.”


Rebel Wilson loses bid to keep most of $3.4 million defamation payout

Updated 16 November 2018
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Rebel Wilson loses bid to keep most of $3.4 million defamation payout

  • The actress had sued Woman’s Day magazine last year over a series of articles in 2015
  • ‘The whole reason for bringing this case is that I wanted to stand up to a bully, which is Bauer Media’

SYDNEY: Rebel Wilson said she was glad she’d stood up to “a bully” despite losing her bid Friday to keep most of the record payout awarded to her in her defamation case against an Australian magazine.
The actress had sued Woman’s Day magazine last year over a series of articles in 2015 that she said had painted her as someone who’d lied about her real name, age and childhood in order to make it in Hollywood.
The Supreme Court of Victoria state awarded her an Australian-record payout of $3.4 million (A$4.7 million) after a jury concluded she’d missed out on film roles because of the articles. Wilson had sought $5 million in damages.
But this June the amount was reduced by 90 percent after the magazine’s publishers, Bauer Media, appealed. Victoria’s Court of Appeal said Wilson could not prove economic loss, or that she’d missed out on film contracts as a result of the articles. The court ordered the actress to pay back almost $3 million, and 80 percent of Bauer’s legal costs.
Wilson’s lawyers on Friday sought leave to appeal against the reduction in the High Court — Australia’s highest judicial body — but the application was refused.
“In our opinion there are insufficient prospects that an appeal will succeed,” Justice Virginia Bell said at the court in the national capital, Canberra.
The magazine publisher welcomed the decision. “Bauer Media is invested in its Australian business now more than ever,” Bauer chief executive Paul Dykzeul said in a statement. “Our audience trust our content and our writers and they love our iconic brands like Woman’s Day and Australian Women’s Weekly.”
Wilson, who sat in the front row of the public gallery during the brief hearing, said outside the court she was glad the process had been brought to an end.
“This has been a long fight and a long journey in the courts, but the great thing about today is that it brings it to a definitive end,” she told reporters.
“The whole reason for bringing this case is that I wanted to stand up to a bully, which is Bauer Media.”
Wilson said she was proud of herself for “seeing it out right to the bitter end,” and that she was glad the initial jury had “restored my reputation.”
“Today was just about a small point of special damages and for me it was never about the money, it was about standing up to a bully and I’ve done that.”
Wilson is a native Australian best known for her Hollywood roles in the “Pitch Perfect” films and “Bridesmaids.”