Hosts on Airbnb are allowed to turn away potential guests for a variety of reasons, but race isn’t one of them.
A black woman tried to book a room on the home-sharing platform from a Charlotte, North Carolina man identified as Todd Warner. She was approved, but the man canceled, and a message that was copied and posted to Twitter shows he wasn’t shy about the reason, calling her the N-word multiple times and saying, “this is the south darling.”
Another friend of the guest told Buzzfeed that the woman prefers to remain anonymous.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The Airbnb CEO said the host has been permanently banned.
Airbnb has come under fire in the past for not doing enough to prevent racial discrimination among its hosts. Several black users have reported that they were denied from booking homes on their own profiles but then accepted when using profiles with a fake white avatar.
Officials for the platform said they are working to fix the issue. So far, they said they’re trying to implement unconscious bias training for hosts, so hosts will be less inclined to discriminate against guests unconsciously. They also said they want to put more of a spotlight on reviews, so hosts will judge guests based on past reviews rather than their appearance and photos.
“As a starting point, we have policies in place that prohibit discrimination on our platform. We prohibit content that promotes discrimination, bigotry, racism, hatred, harassment or harm against any individual or group, and we require all users to comply with local laws and regulations,” Airbnb officials said in a blog post. “We have removed hosts from our community who discriminate against guests because of their race or sexual orientation or other factors and we will continue to do so.”