A Black woman on TikTok publicly shamed a racist sitting next to her on a plane over texts he sent about Black and gay people to his family.
On Friday (May 26), Talia Rouse posted a video that showed her confronting a passenger sitting next to her sending off racist text messages. The travel blogger, who regularly posts tips and hotel reviews through her TikTok account to her 25,000 followers, was on a flight heading from Puerto Rico to Atlanta. The video begins with Rouse telling someone off-camera: “You know what? I wasn’t going to say anything … but I decided I want you to feel as uncomfortable as I do,” she began. “And I want you to know that I saw your text messages, and I think you’re disgusting.”
In the caption of the video, she stated that she initially glanced over at the phone of the man sitting next to her and saw “big Black woman” in a text. “He and his family went on and on about the woes of being stuck next to black and gay people,” Rouse recalled. “Then I see this man say he hopes airlines raise prices so these people get weeded out.”
She told the man that if airlines did start “weeding people out,” then maybe he can afford to sit with his family. “If you’re going to be bold enough to pull your phone out in the middle seat of an airplane and freely talk disrespectfully about Black people, then I’m going to be bold enough to say something to you,” she wrote in the video caption.
The man would offer an apology to Rouse, but she countered that it was only because she saw the texts. “You don’t have to be sorry to me. You’re sorry because I saw it,” she said. Rouse would post a follow-up video showing the man’s offensive text messages on the screen of the phone in response to a commenter asking, “We can’t even send texts to our family about how unpleasant you people are?” on the first video. She countered with the caption, ‘Not when you’re in the middle seat next to me, no.”
Rouse didn’t respond to further press inquiries.