Cacilie Hughes, an actress and co-founder of the Big Sister Little Sister Mentoring Program, hired civil rights attorneys Benjamin Crump and Jasmine Rand after a troubling ordeal she said she endured at the hands of a United Airlines employee who called her a “shining monkey,” according to the New York Post.
What We Know:
- Hughes was returning to Houston on Feb. 26, from a speaking engagement in Michigan when she encountered Carmella Davano. Hughes approached Davano and asked about a refund code which is when Davano allegedly began yelling and spewing slurs. Two witnesses told responding officers that they heard Davano direct the slurs towards Hughes.
- Davano was charged with disorderly conduct for using racial slurs and has not returned to work for the airline since the incident.
- “I was humiliated, I was crying and I was the only black woman in the area,” said Hughes during a phone interview with The New York Times.
- United Airlines released a statement on Tuesday. “At United, we proudly hold ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism and have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind…,” the statement reads. At the end of it, the airline mentions they are actively pursuing the termination of Davano.
- This is not the airline’s first race-related incident. Former NBA player, Eric Murdock sued the airline for $10 million dollars in 2018 after accusing a flight attendant of “race-baiting” when he tried to switch seats. Additionally, a Nigerian woman alleged that she was kicked off a United Airlines flight after a white passenger said she smelled.
Despite United Airlines “zero tolerance for discrimination,” these incidents continue to happen.