A UCLA law school student says she just wanted to take a short vacation with her fiancé, and two friends on a snowy President’s Day weekend in Running Springs, California.
“We were looking forward to it, especially with law school and working and being really busy,” Dyne Suh told NBC4 Los Angeles. “It was a welcome break.”
But when they were about to reach the Airbnb cabin, their host suddenly cancelled. It’s allegedly because of two reasons: 1) Suh’s party was paying too little; and 2) because she’s Asian. That much become clear in texts that the 25-year-old law school student shared with the media. The host allegedly wrote, “One word says it all. Asian,” and “It’s why we have trump.”
The host complained that the original rate, $50 a night, was too low for four people and two dogs, and called Suh a “con-artist.”
“And I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners,” the host allegedly wrote.
It was snowing pretty badly, so going back down the mountain was risky, Suh told The Washington Post in an interview, but she and her friends actually ran into a KTLA 5 team who were covering the storm. They interviewed Suh, who tearfully recounted her dispute with the host.
The host apparently hung up when NBC4 Los Angeles reached out. As for Airbnb, they banned her for the purported behavior. Company spokesman Nick Papas confirmed the decision in a statement obtained by LawNewz.com.
“This behavior is abhorrent and unacceptable,” he wrote. “We have worked to provide the guest with our full support and in line with our non-discrimination policy, this host has been permanently removed from the Airbnb platform.”
Airbnb has previously faced controversy over allegedly racists hosts on its platform. In 2016, Gregory Selden, who is black, sued them for being slow to address bigotry on their service. Two civil rights organizations later challenged the company to fix systemic discrimination issues, and in reply, a spokesman said they were gladly sorting issues out, though he admitted it remained a work-in-progress. In September, the company released a commissioned report on their efforts to find and fix bigotry on the platform. That same month, they announced a new policy, in which guests who were discriminated against would get help finding a place to stay.
Update – April 9, 9:53 p.m.: Added supplementary information.
[Screengrab via YouTube]