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Earlier this week, JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater captured nationwide media attention for his response to a female passenger who slammed a bag from an overhead compartment on his head and cursed at him when he requested an apology.
Slater snapped by shouting, “To the motherf----- who just told me to f--- off, f--- you! I’ve been in this business 20 years and that’s it, I’m done,” over the plane’s public address system before grabbing a couple of beers and sliding down the emergency chute.
Ever since the incident occurred, he has become an Internet hero for standing up to a rude passenger in a day and age where many customers treat company employees with no consideration, manners or respect. A Facebook fan page was created in his honor, and it already has over 188,000 supporters.
On NBC’s The Today Show and ABC’s Good Morning America, Slater’s ex-wife, Cynthia Susanne, expressed support by describing him as a gentleman who must have been pushed over the edge by a nightmarish passenger.
“I do not believe that he was rude to anyone,” she told The Today Show’s Meredith Vieira, according to MSNBC. “I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this passenger was a nightmare. I find it very difficult to believe he would be rude to anyone, especially in the air.”
ABC News is reporting that Slater’s mother, a retired flight attendant, has also spoken out to state that he restrained himself and would have been justified had he responded more aggressively to the rudeness of the female passenger and the wound he sustained on his forehead.
“I can understand why he snapped, and I would have snapped too. In fact, I probably would have snapped more than he did,” she said. “I also don’t think people who are in the service industry should be abused by anybody, whether it be a passenger or anybody.”