Queer Eye's Tan France Claims TSA Racially Profiled Him After He Was Stopped 3 Times in a Week
Tan France has accused airport security of racially profiling him.
The Queer Eye fashion guru, 35, says he was stopped three separate times this week while traveling because TSA told him that his name was on a list of people considered to be threats.
“@TSA I’ve been put through extra security checks 3 times this week, and was just told by a TSA agent it’s because my name is on a list. WTF?” he tweeted on Wednesday afternoon. “I’m brown but that does NOT mean I’m a damn security risk!!!”
France, who was born in England to Pakistani parents and is a practicing Muslim, also opened up about his airport experience on his Instagram Stories, captured by the Daily Mail.
“I am f— fuming,” he began the lengthy video. “I just got through security at the airport. It took me over two hours and that’s the third time this week.”
The British stylist then went on to explain that he has TSA pre-check, a program that allows screened passengers to go through an expedited security screening at U.S. airports, and that usually allows him to get through customs within 15-20 minutes.
“But apparently my name is on a list of concern,” he added. “And that was told to me by a TSA pre-check person.”
“So here’s how this goes down, and it’s gone down three times this week,” France continued. “What happens is when you’re checking in, they tell you that you can’t use your pre-check because there’s a security issue.”
“And then when you get through to the area, at that point they take you out of line, and then they search you, and they give you a pat down — which is humiliating — where they check everything,” he said. “And then they go through all your bags, and they take a good 45 minutes to go through your bag.”
Even after making it through to his gate, France acknowledged some of the confusion that occurs because of the unusual stamps that were added to his boarding pass from the TSA agents.
“So the reason why I wanted to post this is so I can tag TSA and hopefully they’ll see this at some point and figure out why the f— they’re treating me like this,” France finished. “Because I know the answer. I know why I’m being profiled.”
A rep for France did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
As for the TSA, they responded to France’s tweet by directing him to the Department of Homeland Security’s Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) to address his claims.
A spokesperson for TSA also issued a statement to PEOPLE about the incident, explaining that “All airline passengers, regardless of race, gender, or religion, are thoroughly screened at airport screening checkpoints.”
“TSA cannot comment on the security designation for specific individuals, and there are a number of reasons a passenger can be selected for additional screening, including by random designation,” the rep added.
“Any traveler who believes he or she has been unfairly or incorrectly delayed or denied boarding can work through the DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program to resolve the issue.”
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For the interview, France opened up about representing his culture on television, explaining that he often gets messages from people in the Middle East saying “that they’re hopeful after seeing themselves represented on TV.”
“That really gets me every time,” France said.