Over the weekend, a fellas trip to the Big Apple took a dramatic turn for the worse when the group of five men was kicked out of the Airbnb they rented. The host responsible for the Upper East Side dwelling was caught on tape asking the men to pack their things and go at 2 a.m. on Saturday morning.
The altercation was caught on video and posted to Facebook and Twitter by Kenneth Simpson. The 28-year-old health IT worker from Alexandria, VA told the Washington Post that he directed his friend to start recording after Kate, the host, called the men “criminals” and said she felt threatened by them being there.
Simpson and Kate verbally disagreed on the listing. While Simpson said the rental was advertised as a full unit that slept five, upon arriving at the home, they realized it was a shared space. He also told The Post that he was given permission to bring a dog but later, hosts were hesitant to accommodate.
By early morning, tensions between the guests and the host reached an uncomfortable level. Sara instructed the men to “Get your things and get the f— out of my house,” Simpson recalls to The Post.
What followed was a question that made it definitively clear how the host felt about the Black men occupying her space. “Which monkey is gonna stay on the couch?”
“I felt very dehumanized,” Simpson told The Post about the exchange. “I thought, is this where we are today? We made a point that we’re educated, working professionals. And it doesn’t even matter if you’re an educated person, because no one deserves to be called a monkey and be dehumanized for no reason.”
Airbnb took action after the incident, removing the host from its site and working to find alternative accommodations for the group. Simpson said of the company’s response, “I’m not going to say Airbnb is responsible for this entirely, but I do feel like they need to vet their hosts.” He added, “This isn’t the first racist situation that’s gone public and viral, so they need to figure out and make sure no one else gets treated like we did this weekend.”