Airbnb apologizes, removes Mississippi ‘slave cabin’ from listings after being taken to task in viral video
Published 4:35 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2022
Airbnb removed a Mississippi property described as a “slave cabin” from its listing Monday after a New Orleans lawyer went on social media to criticize and question why any place used to house slaves could be used as a bed and breakfast.
Wynton Yates, a Black lawyer from New Orleans, posted a TikTok about the listing Friday.
“This is not O.K. Not in the least bit,” Yates says in the video with a picture of the Airbnb listing in the background.
Yates then points out in the listing for the Panther Burn Cottage at Belmont Plantation in Greenville where the listing reports describe the cabin in photos as an 1830s slave cabin.
“How is this O.K. in somebody’s mind to rent this place out — a place where human beings were kept as slaves — to rent this out as a bed and breakfast?” Yates asked.
Yates then showed reviews from those who stayed in the cabin, describing their visit as a luxury vacation spot.
The listing had 68 reviews and a 4.97 rating, his screenshots showed.
“We stayed in the cabin and it was historic but elegant,” one person wrote in the reviews.
“What a delightful place to step into history, southern hospitality, and stay a night or two,” another reviewer wrote.
Yate said instead of using the cabin as a way to educate and point out the living conditions enslaved people had to endure, the property was far from that with a “clawfoot tub, running water, tile …”
“The history of slavery is being constantly denied, and now it is being mocked by being turned into a luxurious vacation spot.”
After Yates’ video went viral, Airbnb took the listing down and is working with experts to develop a policy that will address listing associated with slavery.
“Properties that formerly housed the enslaved have no place on Airbnb,” said in a statement. ”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.”