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Airbnb issues apology after listing an ‘1830s slave cabin’ on its site

Airbnb issues apology after listing an ‘1830s slave cabin’ on its site

“How was this okay in somebody's mind to rent this out, a place where human beings were kept as slaves?"

Airbnb has issued an apology for advertising a shocking ‘1830s slave cabin’ on its website. 

The rental property was lambasted after being brought to the attention of the internet by TikToker Lawyer Wynton (@lawyerwynton), who told Airbnb ‘this is not okay’. 

In the video, he shows the ad for the Mississippi ‘bed and breakfast’, which is described in the listing as an ‘1830s slave cabin from the extant Panther Burn Plantation to the south of Belmont’. 

Demonstrating how the cabin sits on the grounds next to a much larger stately home, he says: “How was this okay in somebody's mind to rent this out – a place where human beings were kept as slaves – rent this out as a bed and breakfast?”

You can watch the video below:

Wynton highlights the fact that the host Brad is an Airbnb ‘superhost’, as well as the worryingly positive reviews

“Memorable. Highly recommend watching the sunset,” wrote one guest, while another said: “Enjoyed everything about our stay. The cottage, the history, the tour, breakfast, all of it was great and made for a perfect stop on our cross-country trek!”

A third added: “We stayed in the cabin and it was historic but elegant. The bed was very comfortable. The cabin was stocked with everything we needed plus more. The location is just far enough from town where you felt like you were stepping back in history.”

Wynton went on to demonstrate how the property had been updated with luxurious fixtures, therefore eradicating the reality of how enslaved people had to live at the time. 

Wynton demonstrated how the property had been updated with luxury fittings.

He finishes up by saying: “The history of slavery in this country is constantly denied and now it's being mocked by being turned into a luxurious vacation spot.”

Airbnb has since issued an apology for the listing, saying it had removed any ads ‘that are known to include former slave quarters in the United States’. 

Ben Breit, a spokesperson for the rental company, told the Guardian: “Properties that formerly housed the enslaved have no place on Airbnb. We apologise for any trauma or grief created by the presence of this listing, and others like it and that we did not act sooner to address this issue.”

Breit added that Airbnb is ‘working with experts to develop new policies that address other properties associated with slavery’.

The owner, Brad Hauser, also said in a statement that it was the previous owner’s decision to advertise the property as ‘slave quarters’, claiming the building was actually used as a doctor’s office. 

Airbnb has since taken down the listing and issued an apology.

He added: "As the new, three-week owner of The Belmont in Greenville, Mississippi, I apologise for the decision to provide our guests a stay at 'the slave quarters' behind the 1857 antebellum home that is now a bed and breakfast. I also apologise for insulting African Americans whose ancestors were slaves."

In a follow-up video, Wynton demonstrated the apologies and actions taken by Airbnb while saying: “At the end of the day, I think this is just a jumping off point for conversations that need to be had in this country, especially about the commercialisation of plantations and properties and structures associated with slavery and how it’s just gross.”

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/lawyerwynton

Topics: Racism, US News, TikTok