Airbnb is facing a ton of backlash after listing a slave cabin from the 1830s as a luxury stay. Wynton Yates, a Black TikTok user who goes by @LawyerWinton on the app, brought attention to the issue. In a now-viral video, Yates showed the Greenville, Mississippi residence was advertised as a “meticulously restored” bed-and-breakfast.
With over two million views and counting, Yates says in his video, “The history of slavery in this country is constantly denied and now it’s being mocked by being turned into a luxurious vacation spot.” The “Panther Burn Cottage at Belmont Plantation,” which had a 4.97 rating and 68 reviews, is no longer posted on Airbnb. The residence where Black people were once forced to live while facing the horrors of slavery came with a full list of amenities.
The now-deleted listing featured “its own TV (a new LCD smart TV with basic channels), Netflix, and on-demand channels like HBO, internet radio, and a variety of premium streaming channels including news, lifestyle and sports networks.” A guest named Katie who stayed at the former slave quarters last year wrote, “Memorable. Highly recommend watching the sunset!” Social media users were shocked to learn about this listing. “Can you imagine renting out bunks at Auschwitz? You can’t? Yeah, that’s the point,” one user tweeted.
Another person said, “Slave cabins being hosted on Airbnb should shut up ALL arguments about how ‘long ago’ slavery was. They’re refurbishing slave cabins, TODAY. The history really is just around the corner.” A representative for Airbnb spoke with The New York Post and issued an apology for the luxury slave quarter listing.
“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.” Other social media users pointed out that similar listings exist on the app. Airbnb’s representative told the outlet that they are working to remove the other known slave quarter listings and developing new policies and guidelines.