Actor And Designer Waris Ahluwalia Kicked Off Plane Because Of His Turban

He has modeled for major ad campaigns but was still a victim of racial profiling.

09/02/2016 2:35 AM AEDT | Updated 09/02/2016 7:00 AM AEDT

AeroMexico did not allow a well-known Sikh man to board a plane Monday because of his beard and turban.

Actor and designer Waris Ahluwalia, who was on his way to New York Fashion Week, shared the following image of with his plane ticket on Instagram, with the caption #FearisanOpportunitytoEducate.

A spokesperson from AeroMexico confirmed Ahluwalia was removed from his flight.

"About the situation of passenger Waris Ahluwalia, Aeromexico reports that he was asked to submit to screening and inspection before boarding, in strict compliance with TSA protocol," the spokesperson said in an email to HuffPost. "We have offered the passenger to alternatives to reach his destination as soon as possible. We sincerely regret any inconvenience caused by this incident."

Ahluwalia made headlines in 2013 as the first Sikh man in a national Gap ad campaign and has had cameo roles in Wes Anderson films, among other acting roles. This isn't the first time he's fallen victim to racial profiling despite his fame.

When his Gap ad ran, many of the billboards featuring Ahluwalia were vandalized with racist graffiti. The slogan for the campaign was "Make Love" but one person wrote "Make Bombs," referencing misconception many have about Sikhs. 

After 9/11, many Sikhs in America have been victims of hate crimes and racial profiling due to rising Islamophobia. It has become such an overwhelming issue that the FBI is now tracking instances of racial bias against Sikh Americans, in addition to Arab and Hindu Americans.  

This article has been updated to include the airline's response.

Also on HuffPost:

More On This Topic