Airbnb removes Mississippi ‘slave cabin’ from listings

August 4, 2022 GMT

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) — An Airbnb listing in Mississippi advertised as a “slave cabin” has been removed from the site following backlash on social media.

Airbnb apologized after a TikTok video went viral criticizing the description of a cottage in Greenville. The bed and breakfast was marketed as an “1830s slave cabin.”

The “meticulously restored” property, complete with a new television and premium streaming channels, was described as a “tenant sharecropper’s cabin and a medical office for local farmers and their families to visit the plantation doctor.”

The listing caught the attention of Wynton Yates, a Black lawyer from New Orleans.

“How is this okay in somebody’s mind to rent this out? A place where human beings were kept as slaves?” Yates asked in his video.

In response to the video, which has been viewed over 2.7 million times, Airbnb said properties that formerly housed enslaved people have no place on the site.

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“We apologize 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,” the company said in a statement.

Airbnb said it removed the Mississippi listing from its site and is doing the same for other listings known to include former slave quarters in the United States.

In a follow-up video, Yates posted what he said was a statement from the cabin’s owner, Brad Hauser. The statement includes an apology for providing guests a stay at the “slave quarters” behind an antebellum house that is now a bed and breakfast.

“I also apologize for insulting African Americans whose ancestors were slaves,” the statement reads.

The statement also alleges the previous owner mischaracterized the property’s history as a former slave cabin connected to a plantation.

Hauser said he became the cabin owner three weeks ago, WLBT-TV said.