Sunday, July 16, 2017

State issues penalties vs. anti-Asian Airbnb host

Dyne Suh told about the Airbnb incident to KTLA television.

A FORMER Airbnb host who canceled a guest's reservation because she was Asian, not only was banned by Airbnb, but he was ordered to pay a $5,000 fan, take a class in Asian/American history and volunteer to perform community service.

The penalties came as a result of an investigation by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which announced the agreement with the former Airbnb host Thursday (July 13),

On Feb. 17 this year while driving in a snowstorm to an Airbnb listing near Big Bear, California, Airbnb Guest Dyne Suh, a student at the UCLA School of Law, communicated with the Airbnb host via the Airbnb mobile app regarding her reservation. 

Despite having sent confirming text messages approving of additional guests, the Host denied that she had agreed to additional guests and cancelled Ms. Suh’s reservation. 

In a series of communications using the Airbnb mobile app, the Host stated, “I wouldn't rent it to u if u were the last person on earth” and “One word says it all. Asian.”

Suh posted the online messages and it went viral. 

The agreement with the host included:
  • apologize to Suh
  • comply with anti-discrimination laws
  • attend training
  • take a college level course in Asian American studies
  • participate in a community education panel
  • perform volunteer service at a civil rights organization
  • report rental data to the department for four years
  • pay $5,000 in damages
"The real story is how a charged and painful encounter led to an opportunity for reconciliation between the people involved, and to an opportunity for them to enhance the public's understanding of discrimination and civil rights in California," said Kevin Kish, the department's director in a statement.

“I am very glad that the outcome of this case includes taking an Asian American studies course,” Suh said in a Facebook post. “I believe that the more people learn about and understand our history and our struggles, the more they can feel empathy toward us and treat us as equals.”