NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Airbnb said a host that cancelled an Asian woman’s booking, telling her, “It’s why we have Trump,” has been banned permanently.
“Airbnb does not condone discrimination in any way,” said spokesperson Nick Papas. “We have worked to provide the guest with our full support. In line with our non-discrimination policy, this host has been permanently removed from the Airbnb platform.”
Dyne Suh, 25, of Riverside, Calif., was travelling in February to the ski resort of Big Bear Lake with her boyfriend and two friends. Suh had contacted the Airbnb host prior to their arrival to confirm the booking. But, three minutes from their destination, the host told Suh they were no longer welcome.
“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 emigrated from South Korea when she was 3, 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 and her friends pulled over to figure 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 U.S. 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.”
Though the incident happened weeks ago, Suh’s story went viral last week when the KTLA reporter posted a video of the interview on Facebook.
Airbnb said the company issued Suh a full refund and offered to reimburse the group for a hotel.
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.