The Canadian singer who tried to entertain fellow passengers after stormy conditions delayed their flight has been given death threats after the video went viral online criticising her singing.
There were delays of up to 10 hours for passengers at Iceland’s Reykjavik’s international airport over the weekend because of strong winds and freezing rain that battered the west coast of the country.
It was the coldest winter since 1918 and prompted a “yellow weather alert” from the Icelandic meteorological office.
At the Keflavik Airport which handles international flights, passengers were not even able to leave the planes because of the winds outside of up to 115 kph.
It also affected passengers on the Icelandair plane from Toronto that included”folk roots artist” Jessica Pearson who seemed as if they were facing a 10-hour delay, which meant more time on the tarmac than they had been in the air.
The cabin crew had then joked that some musicians that were among the passengers might want to entertain to ease the boredom.
The plane’s pilot Oskar Tryggvi Svavarsson liked the idea and a performance of them singing John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” quickly went viral online.
But while the passengers appeared to enjoy the performance, online Internet trolls waded in and even made death threats against the young woman.
One Twitter user who watched the video quipped: “This is literally terrorism.”
Another person wrote: “Sorry, I’m going for the emergency exit. I don’t care we’re at 31,000ft. I’ll take my chances,” while another theorised that the “bathroom is full of people hiding.”
One TikToker joked that they “would’ve offered to fly the plane,” while several others thanked Pearson for reminding them not to forget that all-important piece of travel gear when flying—noise-cancelling headphones.
After the negative social media response Jessica issued a statement saying: “On Feb 1st, that video went viral with a narrative that the girls arbitrarily decided to sing for stranded passengers on a plane for 10 hours.
“This false narrative incited a swift negative response and the hate escalated to a level of death threats. The video was taken down in response. Someone mistook the video thinking Jessica and her pals had, by their own accord, started singing on the plane and kept it on for ten hours.
“I am shocked and discouraged that a shared moment of joy has been turned into a vicious attack. The sheer level of hate is incomprehensible. I was told to kill myself because I played songs for people on a plane. That’s insane.”
The statement specifies that she is a professional musician and is respected in the music community, in Canada and elsewhere. After passengers got off the plane, Jessica and her companions said they were applauded, videotaped and given chocolate as a token of appreciation.