Jason Derulo Blames Racial Profiling for Heated Incident on American Airlines Flight

Jason Derulo in New York
Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Nickelodeon

Jason Derulo performs onstage during the 2016 Nickelodeon HALO Awards at Basketball City - Pier 36 - South Street on Nov. 11, 2016 in New York City. 

Jason Derulo had an altercation with American Airlines crew members and police officers at Miami International Airport on Wednesday (Feb. 8) that he blamed on racial profiling. 

In a video posted to TMZ, Derulo said he and his crew tried checking in about 20 bags for a flight to L.A. but were prevented from doing so by an American Airlines staff member who said he couldn’t check his bags.

Derulo said he then explained to the crew member that he is a Concierge Key member, which gives him the privilege to check in more baggage. Because Derulo had been late to check-in, one of his crew members stayed behind to check bags on a later flight.

According to Derulo, he was on the plane, which had pulled away from the gate, when the crew member who stayed behind called him to say American Airlines planned on charging him $6,000 for the extra luggage. Derulo said he then insisted the plane turn around and was greeted by 15 police officers at the gate. The pilot then used expletives to demand his removal from the plane.

Derulo then said once the American Airlines staff realized who he was, they calmed down.

He blamed racial profiling in the video, stating, “If I wasn’t Jason Derulo, I wouldn’t be here right now. I’d be in cuffs. It’s 100% racial because the initial thought in people’s minds is, ‘These hoodlums are causing problems.’”

When reached by Billboard, Jason Derulo’s reps said they had no formal statement on the incident.