Shahs of Sunset Stars Talk Being Profiled at Airports for Being Middle Eastern

Shahs of Sunset's Mike Shouhed and Nema Vand opened up about the "humiliating" incident on the Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen reunion special.

By Allison Crist Jul 20, 2020 5:19 PMTags
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A sad reality for the Shahs.

Sunday night's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen—which served as part one of the season 8 Shahs of Sunset reunion—took a somber turn when a fan-asked question inquired about Mike Shouhed and Nema Vand's experience of getting kicked off a plane earlier this season.

As fans of the Bravo show surely recall, the two, along with Shervin Roohparvar, were traveling from Los Angeles to Phoenix for Destiney Rose's MMA event, but they ran into a delay at the airport.

"We're late to Phoenix because we got kicked off a plane in L.A. for being Middle Eastern," Nema said in a confessional during the March 20 episode. 

In an interview of his own during the Shahs of Sunset episode, Mike described being guilty "before the flight attendant could even come up" to him: "She had already made up her mind that I'm gonna get off the plane. People who look like me are discriminated against."

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Back at the reunion, Andy asked just how often Mike and Nema experience this sort of racial profiling.

"I mean, it happens. It's horrible," Mike responded. "On the plane, this guy stole our seat but he was, you know, a lot lighter shades than we are, and he called over the flight attendant. The flight attendant didn't even hear our story."

He continued, "And we were with a producer that was African-American, and they were like, 'You guys, off the plane.' We're like, 'we're not getting off, we need to get to Arizona.' And the f--king police had to come and escort us off the plane. No joke."

Nema described the incident as "humiliating."  

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Unfortunately, the experience was all too familiar for the rest of the Shahs cast.

"I think 9/11 changed a lot of things more aggressively," said Golnesa "GG" Gharachedaghi. "It happens, we deal with it."

Destiney chimed in too, noting, "When I go to Arizona, when I go to Las Vegas and I fly, they check my hand for bomb residue every single time."

"Right. We're always 'randomly selected,'" Nema added, prompting Reza Farahan to echo his concerns. 

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Watch the entire conversation between Andy, Vema, Mike and the rest of the Shahs cast in the above clip, and catch up on Shahs of Sunset on NBCU's newly launched streaming service Peacock

Part two of Bravo's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen: @ Home Shahs of Sunset virtual reunion airs Sunday, July 26 at 9 p.m.

(E!, Peacock and Bravo are all part of the NBCUniversal family.)

Peacock is live now! Check out NBCU's streaming service here.