In a first of its kind case, an Airbnb host was fined a sum of $5,000 and taken off the platform for cancelling booking for an Asian woman and also using racist comments against her. The host has also been asked to take a college level course in Asian-American studies.
This is the first time that such an incident has taken place in California and action against the host was possible because regulators passed an agreement allowing government officials to test hosts for racial discrimination.
The host, identified as Tami Barker, also had to issue an apology to the woman she discriminated against, and she will also participate in a community education panel and volunteer at a civil rights organisation.
According to the details of the incident provided, an Asian-American woman by the name of Dyne Suh, planned a trip up to the Big Bear, California, for a skiing weekend with friends in February. Suh had booked Barker’s cabin a month back and even asked her if it would be alright to bring two of her friends, to which the host agreed at that time.
However, as Suh was about to approach her destination, Barker cancelled the reservation at the last minute and also used racist comments against her.
Suh shared her terrible encounter on social media and her video went viral.
After the incident, in a follow-up post on Facebook, Suh asked people to stand with those who face discrimination and racism, saying bigotry leads to far more serious consequences “I only got discriminated against for lodging on a ski trip – other people have gotten murdered, or otherwise far more seriously harmed for their identities,” she wrote.
“I beg for people to think about if such discrimination can happen to a light-skinned cis East Asian woman who is in law school, middle class, in a heterosexual relationship, able-bodied, is a US citizen, and Christian, how much harder it must be for people who are less-advantaged and please stand with them.”