Airbnb bans host who made racist remark, referenced Trump

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Airbnb said it has permanently banned a host who, while canceling a reservation, made a racist remark and referenced President Donald Trump.

Dyne Suh said she had reserved an Airbnb rental in Big Bear on February 17, and had clarified with the host that she could bring two extra friends to the reservation, she told CNN affiliate KTLA.

But when she messaged the host to double-check that was still OK shortly before arriving, the host accused her of being a "con artist" and canceled the reservation, according to KTLA.

"I wouldn't rent to u if u were the last person on earth," the host wrote to Suh. "One word says it all. Asian."

Suh, who said she was an American citizen, responded that she would report the host to Airbnb for being racist.

"It's why we have trump," the host wrote back. "And I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners."

After receiving those messages, Suh pulled over as her crew figured out their next plans amid a heavy snowstorm, she said on Facebook. There, they ran into a news crew from KTLA covering the storm, and Suh provided a tear-filled interview about the incident.

"I just feel so hurt," she said. "It stings that after living in the US for over 23 years, this is what happens. No matter if I follow the law, if I'm kind to people, no matter how well I treat others, it doesn't matter. If you're Asian, you're less than human and people can treat you like trash."

Suh and her friends were able to find shelter about two hours later, she wrote on Facebook.

Though the incident happened weeks ago, Suh's story went viral a few days ago when the KTLA reporter posted a video of the interview on Facebook.

Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas said that the company issued Suh a full refund and offered to reimburse the group for a hotel.

"This behavior is abhorrent and unacceptable," Papas said. "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 pushed more aggressively to combat racial discrimination on its platform recently. In September 2016, the company released a report suggesting remedies and a greater focus on dealing with those issues.

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