Slave cabin listing with 4.97 stars forces grovelling Airbnb apology

Airbnb has been forced to apologise after a listing on its website advertised an "1830s slave cabin" for rent.

The property in Mississippi, US was brought to people's attention after New Orleans civil rights and entertainment lawyer Wynton Yates slammed it in a TikTok video last week.

The listing has now been removed but the description read: "1830s slave cabin from the extant Panther Burn Plantation to the south of Belmont.

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"It was moved to Belmont in 2017 and meticulously restored over the course of a year.

"All of the wide cypress boards are original to the first build in the 1830s while the 1850s beadboard in the bathroom is from a later remodel which included new windows and new doors with their fancy hinges."

In his video, which has now been viewed over 2.7million times, Yates said: “The history of slavery in this country is constantly denied and now it’s being mocked by being turned into a luxurious vacation spot.

“Maybe you’re thinking … this will give insight on how enslaved people had to live, their living conditions. No, not at all.

“How is this OK in somebody’s mind to rent this out – a place where human beings were kept as slaves – rent this out as a bed and breakfast.”

He went on to show images of the cabin's interior complete with a large bathtub, plush towels, a four-poster bed and tiled bathrooms.

What shocked Yates the most was the reviews for the property, which were overwhelmingly positive and saw it score 4.97 stars.

One said: “We stayed in the cabin and it was historic but elegant. The bed was very comfortable. [T]he cabin was stocked with everything we needed plus more. The location is just far enough from town where you felt like you were stepping back in history."

Another wrote: “Enjoyed everything about our stay. The cottage, the history, the tour, breakfast, all of it was great and made for a perfect stop on our cross-country trek!”

A third read: “We stayed in the sharecropper cabin and ate in the main house. The house tour was great and so was the breakfast.”

Airbnb has now apologised and said it is working on removing similar properties from its site.

Spokesperson Ben Breit, told the Guardian: “Properties that formerly housed the enslaved have no place on Airbnb. We apologise 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.”

Brad Hauser, the white owner of the property, told the Washington Post that it was the previous owner's decision to "market the building as the place where slaves once slept".

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Speaking to CNN he said: "I am not interested in making money off slavery.

"As the new three-week owner of the Belmont in Greenville, Mississippi, I apologise for the decision to provide our guests a stay at ‘the slave quarters’ behind the 1857 antebellum home that is now a bed and breakfast.

"I also apologise for insulting African Americans whose ancestors were slaves."


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