Delta addresses allegations that actor Gary Owen's wife was racially profiled by a ticket agent

Elise Solé
Comedian Gary Owen says his wife Kenya Duke was racially profiled by a Delta ticketing agent. (Photo: Getty Images)
Comedian Gary Owen says his wife Kenya Duke was racially profiled by a Delta ticketing agent. (Photo: Getty Images)

Delta Airlines is reviewing allegations that a black woman — the wife of actor and comedian Gary Owen — was racially profiled by a ticket agent.

On Sunday, Owen who has starred in films such as Ride Along and Think Like a Man, made an Instagram video about his wife Kenya Duke and their daughter trying to board a morning flight from Cincinnati to San Francisco. “So they tell everyone to line up for first [class],” says Owen in the video. “My wife gets in line and the guy working the gate…asks my wife, ‘Oh, are you in first?'”

Duke answered that she had a first-class ticket and said, ‘Are you not going to ask the guy behind me?'” about a white man also in line. “And he goes, ‘No,'” said Owen. When Duke asked why, the man allegedly said, ‘Cuz I don’t feel like it.'”

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Owen said, “Now, my wife’s a black lady; the [guy] behind her was a white dude and the ticket agent was a white dude. But he asked the black lady, ‘Are you in first?’ But not the white dude.”

“So Delta, I have almost three million miles with you. When you see this lady?” said Owen pointing the camera to Duke. “That’s my wife. She flies first. Don’t ask.”

In his Instagram caption, Owen wrote, “…I know you have a lot of amazing employees that treat people with respect & dignity. But what happened this morning was not ok.”

A Delta spokesperson tells Yahoo Lifestyle that Duke had lined up to board her flight 30 minutes early and was standing outside of the designated boarding area. In an attempt to determine Duke’s boarding zone, the employee asked if she was in first class. According to the representative, the man behind Duke was a few feet away in a proper boarding area.

“Delta apologizes to this customer for her experience and we are reviewing the situation with our Cincinnati team to ensure a better customer interaction moving forward,” a Delta spokesperson tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “We take situations like these very seriously and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We are in contact with the customer to better understand what transpired.”

A rep for Owen did not respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s interview request and Duke could not be reached for comment by Yahoo Lifestyle.

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