A viral video of a former AirBnB host referring to African-American guests as monkeys has led to her removal from the platform. A group of five African-American men say they checked into a townhome in Manhattan earlier this month but were forced to leave once the host learned their ethnicity.
One of the men documented the disturbing episode on Instagram, writing, “We were harassed several times before being thrown out at 2 a.m. Her reasonings were because she felt unsafe, we were going to steal and destroy her property, and then told us to ‘Get the fuck out of her house immediately!’ We cooperated and began to pack our things to leave.”
“As we were packing, she busts in the door with a camera,” he continues. “We asked her to at least respect our privacy while packing since someone had gotten out of the shower. She yells ‘No, it’s my house. Get the fuck out! You are all criminals! I don’t feel safe in my home!'”
The woman, only identified as Airbnb Kate, argued that only four guests were allowed in her home at a time despite her listing saying the unit slept four adults plus one more on a sofa. When pressed with this rebuttal, AirBnB Kate fired back, “Which monkey is gonna stay on the couch?”
“I thought, is this where we are today? We made a point that we’re educated, working professionals. And it doesn’t even matter if you’re an educated person because no one deserves to be called a monkey and be dehumanized for no reason,” Kenneth Simpson told The Washington Post.
You can watch a video of the disturbing encounter below.
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Last night, a group of friends and I reserved an Airbnb in NYC, and encountered a racist and rude host. We arrived to our @Airbnb, and we were harassed several times before being thrown out at 2 am. Her reasonings were because she felt unsafe, we were going to steal and destroy her property, and then told us to “Get the fuck out of her house immediately!” We cooperated and began to pack our things to leave. As we were packing, she busts in the door with a camera. We asked her to at least respect our privacy while packing since someone had gotten out of the shower. She yells “No, it’s my house. Get the fuck out! You are all criminals! I don’t feel safe in my home!” She later asked us “Which monkey is sleeping on the couch?” We are a group of 4 educated and working professionals and were classified as criminals and animals over and over again. She became so angry, rude, and disrespectful that we had to call @NYPD because we weren’t sure if she’d attack us while trying to leave. We eventually found a hotel, and had somewhere to crash for the night, but PLEASE share and repost this story/video. Our hope is that someone else doesn’t have to encounter a racist Airbnb hosts like Kate.
Airbnb has since removed the host from their platform. “The language is unacceptable and has no place in the Airbnb community. We’ve removed the host from our platform and are supporting the guests with a new place to stay,” they said in a statement.
Eric has revolved in and out of passport controls for over 20 years. From his first archaeological field school in Belize to rural villages in Ethiopia and Buddhist temples in Laos, Eric has come smile to smile with all walks of life. A writer, photographer and entrepreneur, the LA native believes the power of connectivity and community is enriched through travel.