There are many people in the world in search of their 15 minutes of fame. Recently, an individual seeking the fame of others in social networks made a joke in a very bad taste on a flight that was going to Jamaica and made him return emergency to the airport where he took off, delaying the trip of at least 243 passengers on board.
It turns out that James Potok, a nobody from YouTube who makes music videos and has just over 700 subscribers (he used to have 30,000 followers, but left after this), got on West Jet flight 2702 that departed from Toronto to Jamaica. When they had been in the air for about two hours, James got up from his seat and shouted: “Do you give me your attention? I just returned from Wuhan Province, and I don’t feel well.” Recall that Wuhan is the province where the Coronavirus originated.
As a precaution, the airline followed the safety protocols that dictate diverting the flight in case of a latent threat. While arriving at the airport of origin, the crew provided Potok with a mask and gloves. He was also put under observation and was forbidden to have close contact with the other passengers, who were upset to realize that this individual was joking.
One person wrote on Twitter: “Returning because an idiot has pretended to have Coronavirus to post on YouTube.”
The WestJet flight to Jamaica returned midway when a 29-year-old man announced that he had the Coronavirus. It seems to be a joke, 250 passengers stayed in Toronto and others in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
After seeing the chaos that it caused and that the people on social networks instead of applauding his joke were overwhelmed by strong criticisms and threats, Potok had no choice but to publicly apologize in different media and a video on YouTube where he accepts who did everything for fame, bad fame, I would say.
I’m an artist. Any publicity for me is good publicity. I had my camera with me, and I was looking for a viral video. I was looking to upload it to all social media platforms. I thought, i would invoke some kind of reaction, not on the plane, but in people watching it on social networks and saying, “Wow, this man has guts” or “This guy is crazy.” I think it was in bad taste, in hindsight. What I did was wrong. I ruined the flight of more than 200 people, and I’m sorry.
It should be noted that Potok was arrested when he got off the plane, and on March 9, he will have to appear before a court to face his charges. No doubt, this story shows us what this new wave of influencers and vloggers are willing to risk their lives and the people around them for having a few minutes of fame.