Airbnb removes ‘1830s slave cabin’ listing after being called out on TikTok
TikTok user Wynton Yates posted a video criticizing the vacation rental company for a listing that appears to ‘romanticize slavery’
Airbnb removed a listing for a property in Mississippi after a TikTok user called the vacation rental company out for having a listing that was previously a cabin that housed slaves.
On Thursday, TikTok user Wynton Yates, who is a lawyer from New Orleans, posted a video about a listing for an “1830s slave cabin” on the Belmont Plantation in Greenville, Mississippi.
“How is this OK in somebody’s mind to, to rent this out — a place where human beings were kept as slaves — rent this out as a bed-and-breakfast?” Yates says in the video.
What did the TikTok video say about an Airbnb ‘slave cabin’ listing?
The video has been viewed more than 2.6 million times. The listing described the cabin as “the last surviving structure from the fabled Panther Burn Plantation,” per The Washington Post.
Yates criticized the amount of positive comments on the listing with no recognition of the tragic history of slavery or what that house meant when it was built.
“If you were to see just the pictures of the inside of it, you’d have no idea (of) the history of that building, and I think for me, that is a mockery of the experience,” Yates told USA Today. “It is the continuation of erasing what the experience of slavery was.”
How did Airbnb respond to TikTok video about the ‘slave cabin’ listing?
Airbnb apologized in a statement provided to CNN and other news outlets saying:
Properties that formerly housed the enslaved have no place on Airbnb. We apologize 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.
The new owner of the property, Brad Hauser, also apologized in a statement he provided to CNN.
As the new, three-week owner of The Belmont in Greenville, Mississippi, I apologize 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 apologize for insulting African Americans whose ancestors were slaves.
He told CNN he does not plan on renting out the property again and is looking to find “people who have lived and were enslaved on the Belmont Plantation to provide an accurate account of history.”
When asked what Yates would say to Airbnb and other property owners, he told The Washington Post, “Stop romanticizing the experience of slavery. Because that’s exactly what this is. This is profiting off of slavery.”