by Ryan Grenoble | The Huffington Post | 04/06/2017
This ski trip went downhill and took a racist turn fast.
Airbnb says it has permanently banned a host from the platform after she canceled a guest’s reservation minutes before her arrival because the guest was Asian. And we know that was the host’s reason, because she said so.
“One word says it all,” the host wrote in a text message to the would-be guest. “Asian.”
“The four of us made a reservation on Airbnb about a month ago,” the denied guest says in the video as snow falls around her, “and I asked the woman who is the host if two more friends would be OK ... she said that’s fine, we just have to pay more money.
“So we’re driving up, we think everything is fine, we’re ready for this ski trip in Big Bear ... there were flash flood warnings all day, [and] I asked the woman again, is it OK if my two friends come, like, should we give you cash, or how much did you say it was again?
“And she says, ‘Absolutely not.... You must be high if you think that that would be OK in the busiest weekend in Big Bear.’ Then she said, ‘No, we’re done,’ and she canceled the trip.”
Taken aback, the guest responded by informing the woman her actions would be reported to Airbnb, to which she replied in a text: “Go ahead. I wouldn’t rent to u if u were the last person on earth.” Then she texted, “One word says it all. Asian.”
In additional screenshots of the conversation, provided by the guest as proof, the host wrote, “And I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners. It’s why we have trump.”
In the video, the distraught guest says she’s an American citizen. Not that that mattered to the host, who apparently deemed her a foreigner based only on her profile picture.
“What they see is that I’m Asian. What they see is my race,” she said, sobbing, “and this is how we get treated. It stings.”
In a statement to The Huffington Post, Airbnb spokesman Christopher Nulty called the host’s behavior “abhorrent and unacceptable.” Nulty added the company reached out to the guest as soon as it learned of the incident and offered to rebook her somewhere else, but she’d already made other plans.
“We have worked to provide the guest with our full support” Nulty said, “and in line with our non-discrimination policy, this host has been permanently removed from the Airbnb platform.”