A Southwest Airlines pilot seems to have said “Let’s Go Brandon,” a phrase that has taken hold with right-wing supporters of Donald Trump, and a lot of people are not happy. A TikTok video featuring audio purported to be from that flight is making the rounds. A reporter for the AP was on the flight. She says passengers gasped audibly when the pilot said it, and tweeted that when she tried to get a comment from him she was almost removed from the plane. She did note in another tweet that she was asking flight crew to open the locked cockpit “and probably sounded insane.” The airline responded to the flood of tweets demanding the pilot be fired with its own tweeted statement. “One employee’s individual perspective should not be interpreted as the viewpoint of Southwest,” the statement read. “Southwest does not tolerate any behavior that encourages divisiveness, as it does not reflect the Southwest Hospitality and inclusiveness for which we are known,” the airline said.
The phrase “Let’s go Brandon” went viral last month after an interview with Brandon Brown, a NASCAR driver celebrating his first Xfinity series win. That phrase is what the reporter doing the interview thought fans were chanting, but it turns out they were saying "F--- Joe Biden!" Since then it has turned up in Congress and on a T-shirt in Trump’s Save America PAC. The clever wordlplay might not work out so well for the pilot, just as it hasn’t worked out well for Brandon Brown, the driver, whose marketing partners have ghosted him since the slogan went viral, the AP reports. (Read more Southwest Airlines stories.)