United Airlines has been facing a backlash from people around the world after a video of a man who was forcibly dragged out of an overbooked flight was posted online. Now, lots of netizens are calling for a United Airlines boycott.
The videos and pictures of the 69-year-old Asian-American man who was seen to have blood all over his mouth went viral on different social media sites. Initially, people thought that the man was Chinese which caused an outrage from Chinese netizens, many of whom were calling for a boycott.
Shanghailist reported that the Chinese hashtag which stated "United Airlines forces passenger off a plane" garnered 169 million views and became on of the top trending topics on the microblogging service called Weibo. Thousands of Chinese users are not only bashing the airline company but also the United States.
Chinese-American comedian Joe Wong even posted on his own microblog, "Many people of Chinese heritage feel that they've been discriminated against, but they don't say anything because they're worried about losing face." Wong's posts went viral and got a lot of likes and shares.
However, after finding out that the man was Vietnamese, people from Vietnam appeared to have joined the movement along with the Chinese to boycott United Airlines. The man was identified as David Dao and was born in Vietnam.
According to Time, the issue didn't really get enough sympathy from Vietnamese netizens when the man was first distinguished as Chinese, especially that there' tension between the two countries. But when reports stated that Dao was indeed Vietnamese, there was a sudden change of tune from Vietnamese netizens.
Following the disturbing footage of Dao being dragged across the floor with blood on his face, United Airlines' stocks went tumbling. Now, CEO Oscar Munoz issued a formal apology stating that the company is taking full responsibility with regards to the issue.