Hyatt bans hate groups, will other hotel chains follow?
On Thursday, CEO Mark Hoplamazian announced a broad anti-hate group policy for the Hyatt hotel chain. Hoplamazian wrote to employees in a memo that “if a group is primarily focused on disparaging a group by virtue of their identity…that’s really where we need to draw the line. We’re going to apply our values to making these decisions along the way.”
The decision comes after over 100,000 consumers and a group of concerned organizations urged Hyatt not to host the September 4-5 national conference of the white supremacist-aligned anti-Muslim hate group, ACT for America. The conference, which Hyatt ultimately hosted, occurred less than a week after an ACT rally participant was sentenced to six years in prison for beating an African-American man during the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally. The effort to urge Hyatt not to host this conference was organized by Muslim Advocates, MoveOn, CREDO, and Shoulder to Shoulder.
This decision now positions Hyatt, alongside Airbnb, as a leader in the hospitality field for ensuring safe and inclusive spaces for its guests and staff. Other major hospitality companies like Hilton, Wyndham, Accor Hotels, and InterContinental Hotels have decided to reject hate groups in the past, but Muslim Advocates is unaware of a broad commitment from any of them to vet events hosted by groups primarily dedicated to hate. This move also highlights Marriott’s position as the most hate group-friendly hospitality brand after their embrace of a major hate conference in 2017.
Scott Simpson, Public Advocacy Director for Muslim Advocates responded, “Hyatt’s announcement is a welcome one for consumers who want their hotels to be safe spaces to relax and be themselves free from hostility and discrimination. This position is a breath of fresh air when juxtaposed to Marriott’s embrace of hate groups last year. Both chains trumpet corporate values of inclusivity, but only one of them seems to be willing to choose their people and principles over profit. But Hyatt didn’t make this decision in a vacuum; it comes after civil rights groups and more than 100,000 consumers spoke up when Hyatt welcomed the white supremacist-aligned anti-Muslim hate group ACT for America. We organized, we signed petitions, and we called their offices to tell them that there should be no room for hate at Hyatt. Now it’s up to the other major chains to decide if they want to be resorts for racists.”