A group of black men was evicted from an Airbnb rental by their host who called them “Monkey.”
“My friends were profiled, called monkeys and kicked out of a NYC @Airbnb at 2 am last night,” tweeted Brandon Perez on Saturday. “The video captures the racial epithets, but not the fullness of her bigotry. I’m livid.”
The Airbnb host, whose name is Kate, according to a screenshot of her advertisement, allegedly believed the four men staying in her home had snuck in a fifth friend. “Which monkey is going to stay on the couch?” she asked in the video.
Guest Meshach Cisero, 29, co-owner of the Washington, D.C. restaurant The Caged Bird tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the woman’s boyfriend welcomed them at the Manhattan townhouse Friday, where they had reserved a third-floor room above another guest. The owner and her friend resided on the first floor.
One of the four men brought their dog on the trip, reportedly with the owner’s consent, intending for a neighborhood friend to pick it up from her home. However, after seeing another dog in the apartment, the men asked the owner if they could instead crate their pet inside their room, and she agreed.
While playing music and getting ready to leave, Cisero says Kate’s boyfriend came upstairs and politely asked them to lower the volume. “We use Airbnb a lot and are very sensitive to our user reviews, so we immediately turned off the music,” Cisero tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
According to Cisero, the boyfriend came upstairs a second time. “He said, ‘Can you guys be quieter?’” he recalls. “It felt awkward.”
When the dog sitter arrived, Kate allegedly came in “furious.”
“She said, ‘My boyfriend came up here twice to tell you to quiet down. You are having a party with a fifth guest,’” says Cisero. “My brother said only four people were staying in the room, however, Kate did write on Airbnb that the apartment fit ‘four plus a couch.’”
Cisero says Kate called them “monkey” and told them to go. “She said she didn’t feel safe because we were ‘criminals’ who might steal her stuff or damage her home,” he explains.
The men called 911, says Cisero, but no charges were filed. The New York Police Department could not verify the incident without Kate’s address, which could not be obtained by Yahoo Lifestyle.
According to Cisero, the men spent hours searching for a last-minute hotel room, for which they were reimbursed by Airbnb. For their second night, he says, they reserved another Airbnb room, later canceled by the company for being an illegal advertisement. The group stayed in a hotel for their last night.
A representative for Airbnb did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s interview request. Spokesperson Benjamin Breit told The Daily Dot that Kate is banned for violating the nondiscrimination policy. “The language used in this video is unacceptable and has no place in the Airbnb community,” Breit reportedly said. “We are supporting Mr. Cisero and his friends in getting them a new place to stay through our Open Doors policy… We’re thankful to them for bringing this to our attention so we could take action.”
Yahoo reached out to Kate’s alleged boyfriend, but he did not return a request for comment. The man reportedly wrote an email to the website NewsOne saying, “While the video is true, it doesn’t catch the full context of what happened in the evening.”
“The guests were making a lot of noise until 2am and I asked them a few times to please keep it down as we have family members trying to sleep,” he wrote. “The woman in the video got frustrated and asked them to leave due to the noise but they refused and called her nasty names which is when she snapped.”
The man told NewsOne, “This has been a stressful situation and while the monkey remarks aren’t excused, we feel it is only fair to hear side of the story.”
“Airbnb can’t prevent racism but there should be contingencies to mitigate any fall-out,” Cisero tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “It’s sad that I am truly not surprised by this. These black men in her apartment were of no status to the owner.”
Original Article: Yahoo