May 30, 2016
Airbnb foes are stepping up their attack with a new campaign that claims the room-rental site has a race problem.
A 30-second TV spot, which will air in New York and five other cities where Airbnb has a big presence starting Tuesday, is narrated by a black Airbnb user who says she is constantly turned down by racist hosts.
“I get declined all the time on Airbnb. Hosts would have one excuse after another,” she says. “We deserve better.”
The campaign is funded by ShareBetter.org, a coalition of New York politicians, housing advocates and hotel companies that argue Airbnb, which is run by CEO Brian Chesky, poses a number of problems for users. The spot was a six-figure investment, said a spokesman for the group.
Earlier this month, Airbnb was sued by a black man in Washington federal court, claiming he was rejected by a host because of his race.